Female worker awarded £18,000 over maternity leave emails
A new mother who was pestered with work emails just two days after giving birth has been awarded in £18,000 compensation, This is Gloucester has reported.
Michelle Stone, General Manager of Winfield Hospital, was still in her hospital bed taking painkillers after undergoing a caesarean when she began receiving emails demanding her views on complicated issues, according to the paper.
The bombardment continued for four weeks while Ms Stone recuperated. But when she stopped checking her email after her baby developed a serious illness, her maternity cover made a formal complaint about her for being “unsupportive,” a tribunal was told.
Employment judges awarded Mrs Stone, compensation after finding she had been subject to sustained discrimination because of her pregnancy.
Ms Stone gave birth by caesarean after developing Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction, known as SPD, a complication causing pain and mobility problems. However, while in hospital and on strong painkillers, she was “extraordinarily and insensitively” sent an email asking for feedback on a complicated programme of restructuring, the tribunal found.
“Helen White (Mrs Stone’s manager) could see from the string of emails that Ms Terblanche (her cover) had emailed the claimant to ask for her views and advice on something relatively complicated two days after her caesarean section and yet she took no steps to ensure that the claimant was comfortable with this level of contact,” said the tribunal panel.
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