Two pregnant workers accuse Blue Arrow of unfair dismissal

Two pregnant women have accused a major high street recruiter of unfair dismissal, with one of them also claiming sex discrimination, alleging they were only given three days notice before being made redundant.

Andrea Barter and Andrea Fransen were employed at Blue Arrow Nursing Care’s Croydon branch up until May this year.

Fransen’s claim for direct sex discrimination is based upon alleged comments made by her manager who told her to “stop waddling”. He also allegedly commented on the time it took her to climb the stairs because she was pregnant.

They also claim they were dismissed by the firm to avoid payment of statutory maternity pay.

Blue Arrow denied the allegations, and said all the claims, due to be heard by the end of October, would be “rigorously defended”.

The recruiter said the women were temporary staff. They therefore would not have had the same legal rights to redundancy payments as permanent staff.

Stuart Jones, employment partner at Weightmans law firm, who is representing the women, said this was a clear case where communication between management and employees could have prevented tribunal action.

“The company took shortcuts and this has resulted in it incurring legal costs and wasting management time,” he said.

“If the company had followed the correct legal procedure, this would have allowed them and both women to have worked through this situation.”

In a statement, Blue Arrow said: “We can confirm that two former temporary staff of Blue Arrow have made an employment tribunal claim and that the matter is currently under legal review. It is inappropriate to pass further comment on the case at this time.”

See Clarify arrangement before you employ agency workers for more on temporary workers
For further information, see our One-Stop Guide to Managing Pregnancy at Work. To order a copy at a special introductory price call 01371 810433.
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