Woman wins claim for unfair dismissal claim at Employment Tribunal

MoJA Pertshire woman has won her Employment Tribunal claim for pregnancy discrimination and unfair dismissal after she was sacked in 2012.

Ms Alicia Crispo started working for Highland Welcome Hotels Ltd, owners of the Bredalbane Arms in Aberfeldy, Scotland, on 31 August 2012 as a hotel receptionist. Although the company’s intention was to employ her on a zero-hours contract she was never advised that the company reserved the right to reduce her hours to zero and believed that she was operating under a normal contract of employment. After starting work in August, Ms Crespo went off ill in October of the same year and her doctor stated that she could only undertake light duties and not work past 5pm. She further discovered that she was pregnant whilst she was off work sick and was told to phone one of the directors of the company, Mr Donald Allen. When she did so she was told that there was no more hours available for her at the hotel and stated that she believed that she had been unfairly dismissed. She subsequently issued an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and pregnancy discrimination.

The claim came to the Employment Tribunal earlier this month. Ms Crispo gave evidence at the Employment Tribunal but a number of persons who had relevant evidence did not give evidence for the company at the Tribunal, with former manager Ms Hawkins in a legal dispute with the business and Mr Allan having left the company. The Employment Tribunal, chaired by Judge Ian McFatridge, commented that there was difficulty dealing with the case because of the lack of evidence but that there were facts from which they could deduce that she was dismissed because she became pregnant. Ms Crispo therefore succeeded in her Employment Tribunal claim for discrimination and unfair dismissal.