Mother dismissed over absenteeism suffered sex discrimination

2015-09-22 Philip posted:

An insurance company committed unlawful sex discrimination against a mother dismissed over absenteeism linked to her daughter’s ill health, an employment tribunal has ruled.

In Van Heeswyk v One Call Insurance Services Ltd, the GMB union represented a woman who was dismissed after she requested time off to spend with her baby daughter and her husband during his leave from service in Afghanistan.

According to the claimant’s union, shortly after her request, she was invited to a disciplinary hearing for alleged “persistent absenteeism” and “unsatisfactory standards or output of work”, despite her exemplary record and no previous warnings.

She was later dismissed without notice for gross misconduct, even though her absenteeism was linked to her daughter’s hospital visits.

The tribunal described the company’s procedure as “cynical” and its treatment of the claimant as “unsympathetic”. The tribunal found that the company was “scraping the barrel” to find reasons to dismiss her.

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