A waitress has been awarded thousands in compensation after being sacked while on maternity leave.
Kirsty Blyth was left jobless and struggling to pay her bills when her boss at Black Rooster Peri Peri restaurant in Coatbridge refused to let her return to work, an employment tribunal heard.
The new mum, who struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), said she was ‘flung out of the shop’ with her nine week old baby in her arms after popping in for a visit.
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She was given a letter saying her maternity pay would not be forthcoming due to the ‘impact of covid’ and was told she was sacked.
The 26-year-old launched a legal action against the firm, but initially dropped the claim when she was offered her job back.
But she wasn’t allowed to return to work at the end of her maternity leave and raised the action again.
The Glasgow employment tribunal ruled in her favour in claims of maternity and pregnancy discrimination, disability discrimination, and victimisation, and she was awarded £18,307.
The hearing was told that Miss Blyth started working at the chicken restaurant in April 2019 and worked hours around her mental health counselling sessions and childcare.
However, there were ‘moans and groans’ about her having to attend counselling.
In November 2020, Miss Blyth visited the restaurant with her baby as her colleagues loved seeing the infant.
However, she was given a letter from director of BR Fast Foods Matthew Campbell, who had recently taken over the business, informing her of their decision.
Miss Blyth said: “I was distraught and was flung out the shop with my nine week old in my arms.”
She said it was “embarrassing as it was done in front or staff members and customers”.
She told the tribunal: “I was in limbo and left without money or a job, my mental health has gotten worse, I cannot support my daughter, and cannot pay my bills.
“I am honestly exhausted and appalled with my treatment.
“I have cried because I never once took a holiday when I worked for them, I always made myself available, always swapped to suit someone else, and this is how I’m treated after having my child.
“I don’t want another pregnant woman or mum in my position.
“I haven’t been able to enjoy my maternity leave due to stress, especially as I was ‘sacked’ before Christmas. [It] was my daughter’s first and was tainted.”
It also had a big impact on her relationship with her partner.
Miss Blyth added: “We have nearly separated over this and how I’ve become extremely angry and stressed all the time.
“I just feel like a complete failure to my daughter and partner and worthless about myself.”
Concluding the case, Employment Judge Ian McPherson said: “I found Miss Blyth’s testimony. compelling and convincing.
“I have no doubt, having heard her evidence, that she felt, and still feels, hurt about the restaurant’s treatment of her.
“I was impressed by her tenacity and persistence in pursuing her claim, despite all the surrounding circumstances, entering a legal forum unknown to her, [the restaurant] not participating, as well as the pressures of normal domestic and family life, including her own PTSD.”