A woman who lost her job after childcare commitments prevented her from working at weekends has been awarded more than £18,000 by an Employment Tribunal.
Beauty therapist Emma Holt had successfully pursued a claim for unfair dismissal against Bannatyne Fitness Ltd.
The Tribunal also ruled that Ms Holt had been the victim of sex discrimination following demands by bosses that she change her shift pattern to work Saturdays and Sundays, despite the fact that she had made clear that she was unable to get childcare for her son.
She had been working for the company for almost a decade when bosses tried to impose the new working arrangements earlier this year.
Explaining why she couldn’t agree to the request, Ms Holt, from the North West, said: “I have always given 150 per cent in this company and I have always run the spa like it is my own. Whatever days I am in they get my full attention and I have put in extra time when needed in the past.
“I am not trying to be difficult with this. I fully understand where the business is coming from. I have no objections to working weekends but I just can’t get childcare that my son will go to.”
Despite this explanation, she was subsequently dismissed, although the business claimed that it had been a redundancy.
Bannatyne later admitted it was guilty of unfair dismissal but had rejected the suggestion that its requests also amounted to sex discrimination.