That is a completely unacceptable way to treat anybody and I'm glad that the Tribunal has recognised the harrowing experience this woman has been through.
The woman concerned has not been named, but she recounted what happened to her when she told her boss she was pregnant:
"He asked what I intended to do. I told him I intended to go ahead with the pregnancy," she said.A week later she was called into the office by operational director Roberto Cecchetti and told that she was being demoted to a waitress as her work was not up to standard.This was despite the fact that she was promoted two months earlier.The tribunal heard the woman was offered two days work a week on minimum wage when previously she had been earning £24,000 a year.
No amount of money can make up for that, but at least the payment, which I hope she gets without any problems, will give her a bit of a cushion.
This awful experience is one reason why it makes me feel very uneasy at the idea that the Coalition Government might try to water down employment rights. There's certainly no suggestion that the protections for pregnant women might be reduced, but there is talk of doubling the qualifying period for an Employment Tribunal from one year to two. With employers like those at the Silverwells Hotel around, we have to make sure that hard-won employment and equality rights are protected.