A live in landlady has brought a claim against the gastro-pub she worked in, alleging that she was sacked because she was pregnant.
Rachel Skeffington, who worked in the John O’Gaunt pub in Berkshire with her partner for five months before she was dismissed, has brought claims in the employment tribunal for sex/maternity discrimination, unfair dismissal and breach of contract.
She says that when she told her boss she was pregnant he started swearing and told her not to expect any maternity pay. Ms Skeffington also alleges that in the weeks before she was dismissed her boss allowed customers to mock and taunt her, saying things like "for Gods sake Rachel, you’re only three months pregnant, suck your belly in" and that he also made comments about her being fat and useless. She alleged "He would also say ‘I’ll have to get your notice before you get too fat and wobbly’".
Within 3 months of informing her boss of her pregnancy, Ms Skeffington says she received an email from the company asking when she was going to hand in her resignation - and that she was told if she resigned she could work (and be paid for) her notice. However, she says that when she refused to resign she was dismissed.
Ms Skeffington said she had planned to work until she was due to go on maternity leave. However, she said "it never got to the point where I could tell them my maternity leave date because they fired me before it got to that stage".
The claims are denied by the chain that runs the gastro-pub which says it has no issue paying maternity pay but that in this case she did not qualify for it and that "she was dismissed because she wasn’t good enough for her job not because she was pregnant."
The claim continues.