Employment tribunal victory for beauty therapist struggling with childcare arrangements

The woman took her former employees to an employment tribunal over unfair dismissal and sex discrimination

 
A former employee at a fitness centre in Carlise, who took her old firm to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal following changes made to flexible working hours, has won her case and been awarded over £18,000.

The employment tribunal ruled that Emma Holt, who was a beauty therapist at the Bannatyne Fitness Centre in Carlisle, was unfairly dismissed and suffered sex discrimination, after she was made redundant over a disagreement about childcare arrangements.

The woman took her former employees to an employment tribunal over unfair dismissal and sex discrimination

Employment tribunal victory for beauty therapist struggling with childcare arrangements © Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Emma had worked at the centre for nearly 10 years and had a flexible working arrangement with her employers. She worked Monday to Friday for childcare reasons and would only work on a weekend if it was to cover for a sick colleague, or for other special circumstances, as she struggled to arrange childcare for her son.

At the start of 2016, Emma was told by senior managers that she had to work weekends but she refused. She did however look into paid childcare options but none were available in her area for weekend care.

The employment tribunal heard that Emma made a formal complaint but no meaningful investigation was carried out by senior managers and she was eventually made redundant.

“Enforcing a change to my work pattern is breaching my flexible work agreement. I do feel this is unfair on the grounds that I have worked continually for the company and with very little absence over the 10 years, for either myself or my child,” Emma told her former employer.

Holt won her tribunal case on the grounds she was unfairly dismissed and suffered sex discrimination but her claim that she was victimised by her former employers was refused.

Holt was awarded £18,399 in total – £10,399 for unfair dismissal and £8,000 for injury to feelings.

Her former employer admitted unfair dismissal but refused to accept the sex discrimination charges.

Please click here for more information regarding our employment law services.