Dismissal leads to £7k award

An Alnwick mum, who claimed she was sacked for ‘having too much time off due to being pregnant’, has been awarded more than £7,000 at an employment tribunal.

Jordanna Sweeney decided to take the case to court after she was dismissed from her job at an Alnwick bar and hotel in June last year while she was pregnant.

The 22-year-old, who now has two children – four-year-old Tyler and Theo, aged four months – was already working as a supervisor at The Plough in the early part of last year when it was taken over by The Plough Inn 2013 Limited, whose director is listed as Antony Cairns.

The hotel/bar on Bondgate Without is no longer in the ownership of the same company, after being taken over by the same team that owns and runs the Jolly Fisherman and The Shoreline Cafe in Craster.

Ms Sweeney claimed that from March last year, despite being a supervisor, her shifts were cut down so she didn’t have many hours, before she was informed she was being dismissed ‘because she was having too much time off due to being pregnant’.

She said that she was ‘shocked and couldn’t believe it’ when she received the letter of dismissal.

With the help of her father, Ed, who represented her in court, Ms Sweeney made a claim against The Plough Inn 2013 Limited.

The case was heard at an employment tribunal in Newcastle on Monday, December 16, but no one from or representing The Plough Inn 2013 Limited attended the hearing.

The judgement was issued last month and Ms Sweeney was awarded a total of £7.015.62 by Employment Judge Garside, although she is yet to receive any money.

The unanimous judgement of the tribunal was that the claim pursuant to section 18 of the Equality Act 2010 ( which deals with pregnancy and maternity discrimination) had succeeded and the claim relating to section 99 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (which refers to unfair dismissal in the case of pregnancy) also succeeded.

The judgement also concluded that the claimant was dismissed in breach of contract.

The award was based on £122.50 for breach of contract, £490 for future loss of earnings and £5,000 for injury to feelings and a further £1,403.12 under legislation relating to the Acas Code of Practice.

A representative of The Plough Inn 2013 Limited declined to comment when approached by the Gazette.