A Jobcentre Plus employee who challenged the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on grounds of sex discrimination, maternity and pregnancy rights has been awarded more than £24,000 by an Employment Tribunal.
Ms Ann Ginger, a Work Coach at Luton Jobcentre Plus, claimed that she had been subjected to discrimination and harassment by her employer in relation to a string of miscarriages she had suffered.
She told an Employment Tribunal that, since 2013, she had suffered two miscarriages and had multiple periods off work in order to undergo IVF treatment.
Ms Ginger said that one of her bosses complained that miscarriages were ‘not a bereavement’.
She added that another boss questioned whether she would ‘be able to cope’ with a second child, and whether it was a ‘good idea’ for her to pursue further IVF treatment.
The Employment Tribunal heard that Ms Ginger was declared ‘fit to return to work’ in January 2015.
However, tensions grew when she requested further time off following the death of her mother.
On other occasions, bosses had allegedly refused Ms Ginger’s requests to take more time off for IVF.
Luton Jobcentre Plus denied all allegations of discrimination and harassment.
It added that, at one point, Ms Ginger had been absent from work for 47 days during one period.
Nevertheless, an Employment Tribunal found the claimant had been subjected to sex discrimination.
According to reports, Ms Ginger was awarded a total of £24,391, including £17,500 for ‘injury to feelings’.