This report from the London Evening Standard Website should serve as a cautionary tale for employers who do not treat female employees fairly on their return from maternity leave.
It seems that the Tribunal found in this case that the employee would not have been selected for redundancy but for the fact that she had been on maternity leave. Part of the problem appears to be certain discriminatory perceptions as to what the employee could or could not do during the redundancy consultation process.
Although this case related to redundancy employers should be very careful that employees returning from maternity leave are treated fairly and equally.
Although HR professionals will be aware of the requirements it is important that adequate training is provided to managers who may be involved in dealing with employees on their return to the workplace following maternity leave.
Also of significance is the fact that the normal statutory cap of £65,300 does not apply in discrimination claims. Accordingly, it is entirely possible that a six or even seven figure award could be made in this case.