unfair dismissal case, swift lawyers will pay nearly £19,000
After an employment tribunal ruled that Swift Lawyers unfairly dismissed a pregnant paralegal, the firm was ordered to pay damages of £18,800.
Learn more about the unfair dismissal case which will see Swift solicitors pay almost £19,000 –
From October 2018, Farzana Yasin worked on cavity wall insulation claims. After taking two consecutive maternity leaves from October 2018, she returned to work in November 2020, and in January 2021 she was put on furlough. As soon as she revealed that she was pregnant again, the firm stopped its cavity wall work and made Yasin redundant.
A tribunal found that Yasin was not selected for redundancy due to her pregnancy, and that redundancy was the genuine cause of her dismissal. As Yasin was informed informally that she would be made redundant in March 2021, Swift Lawyers did not properly consult with her about this. The process that followed was viewed as a ‘box-ticking exercise’ for a decision that was already in fact final.
The tribunal also found that the firm failed in its attempts to find Yasin suitable alternative employment, but did find a personal injury employee other opportunities within the business, and hired a conveyancing assistant in June 2021 after telling Yasin that one wasn’t needed.
During the tribunal, Employment Judge Dunlop said: “We believe Yasin has proven facts from which it is possible to conclude, in the absence of an alternative explanation from the respondent, that both the respondent’s failure to engage in genuine and meaningful consultation and its failure to consider Yasin for the role of conveyancing assistant were related to her pregnancy (or the fact that she requested maternity leave).
As a result of those circumstances, we conclude Yasin would have been treated differently if she had not been pregnant… Although pregnancy was not the immediate cause of Yasin’s dismissal…her pregnancy was a factor in the respondent’s decision to dismiss, though not solely or principally.”
Yasin received an award of £15,000 plus interest for injury to feelings, as well as £1,000 for loss of earnings. No award was made for unfair dismissal since she received a redundancy payment.
It means Swift Lawyers was ordered to pay Yasin £15,000 plus interest for injury to feelings, plus another £1,000 for loss of earnings.
Prior to publication, Swift Lawyers was contacted for comment.