Mum unable to breastfeed baby as she was so stressed after being sacked from HR job while on maternity leave wins £40k

Mum unable to breastfeed baby as she was so stressed after being sacked from HR job while on maternity leave wins £40k

A MUM who left so stressed after she was sacked while on maternity leave she was unable to breastfeed her baby has won £40k in a tribunal.

Anastassia Rodin was fired by her employers two months after giving birth and was told to go to the job centre for money, an employment tribunal heard.

The panel heard that the stress from Dhillons Management Services, in Northfleed, Kent, impacted how much milk she could produce to feed her 'constantly crying' newborn daughter, the panel heard.

Now she has successfully sued for pregnancy and maternity discrimination and has been awarded substantial compensation.

The tribunal ruled: "Mrs Rodin had no job during her maternity leave and this had a detrimental and adverse impact upon her health and well-being and this adversely impacted her ability to feed her child, which caused additional distress.”

The hearing in Croydon, South London, was told Mrs Rodin began working as a trainer earning £25,000 a year for the company in May 2016.

They supplied HR services to franchises such as Domino's Pizza and Costa Coffee.

After becoming pregnant in October that year she went on maternity leave in June 2017.

The following month, Dhillons Management Services ceased work and the contracts were taken over by another company, DMS1 Limited.

In September, Mrs Rodin contacted the company as her maternity pay was late, and wastold that her original employers had closed and she would only receive her last two months of statutory maternity pay.

Mrs Rodin was told to go to the job centre for any “future money” but as she was already on maternity leave with Dhillons Management Services, they could not help her.

In September 2017 Mrs Rodin was sacked without notice, but was then approached to be taken back by DMS1 Limited once her maternity leave finished in March 2018.

This meant she would miss out on nine months of maternity pay, and she told the tribunal: "The problem came when I was on maternity leave, they could not transfer me because of the maternity leave. This is discrimination.

"Gurjeet Dhillon said I could work for the new company but I would lose my maternity pay and my benefits. There was no way they wanted to help me."

Mrs Rodin turned down the offer as she “did not trust” the company after how she had been treated.

The tribunal heard “it was the worst time of her life as she was not able to enjoy her baby daughter”.

'CONSTANTLY CRYING'

Mrs Rodin told the panel she became depressed, always crying and stressed, with her daughter also crying “constantly” as she did not have enough milk to feed her.

She then sued both companies for unfair dismissal, pregnancy and maternity discrimination and a number of other claims.

Rajbinder Sandhu, director of DMS1, told the tribunal Mrs Rodin had been “sold a dream” by her lawyer and had only gone to therapy for “a big payday”.

The panel, however, ruled in Mrs Rodin's favour after it found she was fired because she was on maternity leave and awarded her £41,191.18.

The tribunal ordered that £12,500 should be given for injury to feelings due to the 'additional level of distress' caused by Ms Sandhu's comments.

It said the companies were “not unsophisticated” and as their role being to advise HR functions, “there was no excuse for not knowing the law”.

It concluded: "Mrs Rodin had no job during her maternity leave and this had a detrimental and adverse impact upon her health and well-being and this adversely impacted her ability to feed her child, which caused additional distress.

"We considered that her evidence reflected a level of distress that was serious.

"We conclude that that distress was worsened by Dhillons Management Services failing to contact Mrs Rodin or to provide her with any means to access the rest of her maternity pay.

"This came at a time where Mrs Rodin was vulnerable and through no fault of her own faced difficult financial circumstances which were outside of her control.

"We therefore conclude that this was unfavourable treatment because of pregnancy to be dismissed whilst on maternity leave and was connected to her pregnancy or to her right to receive maternity pay."

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