[UK] Maternity Discrimination Win for Pregnant Woman


Most employers know that there are significant employment protections for women that are pregnant.  This did not seem to apply to McGrane Nurseries Ltd in Tandragee, County Armagh.  Their employee Laura Gruzdaite had already claimed that her employer had failed to pay her for attending two ante natal appointments. On the 12th of October 208, two days after one of the appointments, she was sacked from the gardening nursery after her boss said:

“You will need more days off for your pregnancy doctor’s appointments.  You already skipped work on Wednesday (10th October 2018) when you had your ultrasound”.

It is not surprising that the Industrial Tribunal in Northern Ireland found that Mrs Gruzdaite has suffered discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy and was awarded over £27,000 in damages.  These were for loss of earnings, loss of future SMP and a payment of £20,000 for injury to feelings.

Global Payroll Association Comment

The case is interesting for the fact that the ruling contains a lot of reference to legislation applicable in Northern Ireland, e.g. the Employment Rights Order 1996 and the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976.

It should also act as an eye-opener for all employers that pregnant women have maternity protections that should be respected.  These apply for the whole of the UK but the legislation is different in Northern Ireland, even though it says the same things.

In Northern Ireland, guidance for employers can be found on the “NIbusinessinfo” website and the “Equality Commission Northern Ireland” Website.