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Employee awarded €15,000 for dismissal due to pregnancy

In the recent Workplace Relations decision of Ewa Sobanska in the case of Bronna Ní Mhurchu v Acled Limited t/a Ann Gray’s Total Health Pharmacy, the Claimant was awarded €15,000 for discriminatory dismissal on grounds of gender.

The Claimant was employed by the Respondent from 7th November 2016 until her employment was terminated by the Respondent on 6th November 2017. The Claimant submitted that there had been no issues expressed to her regarding her work prior to informing her employer that she was pregnant. The Claimant also took a claim under family status as she claimed that after announcing her pregnancy she was subject to adverse comments from fellow employees.

The Respondent submitted that there had been previous issues regarding the Claimant’s attendance records and her attitude towards both staff and customers. The Respondent submitted that the termination of the Claimant’s  employment was entirely related to issues regarding the Claimant’s attitude and was completely unrelated to the fact that the Claimant was pregnant. The Respondent also submitted that the Claimant was terminated in line with its procedures.

The Adjudicator concluded that the Claimant did not come within the ‘family status’ ground and therefore failed in respect of that claim. However, she held that the Claimant was discriminated on the gender ground and that the dismissal was discriminatory. The Respondent failed to discharge the burden on it to show that the Claimant’s dismissal was for “exceptional reasons” unconnected with her pregnancy. She stated that following the procedures was irrelevant to the claim if the Respondent could not meet this burden of proof. The Claimant was awarded €15,000 in compensation for the discriminatory treatment suffered.

Link: https://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/Cases/2019/April/%20ADJ-00014190.html

30th April 2019

Anne O’Connell Solicitors

Fitzwilliam Hall

Fitzwilliam Place

Dublin 2.


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