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  • FIRST POST
    • Amanda399
    • By Amanda399 14th Mar 18, 11:25 PM
    • 2Posts
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    Amanda399
    Fired because of having a child
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:25 PM
    Fired because of having a child 14th Mar 18 at 11:25 PM
    My 19 year old daughter got a job 3 months ago working 14 hours a week as a receptionist in a privately owned vet practice (she is also at uni full time, this job was on the weekend) she has a 1 year old son and is a single mum.

    The job was going well, she was extremely proud of the fact she was working whilst studying and being a full time mum. She never missed a day and was never late, she loved the job.

    In her contract it stated that she would be on a months paid trial. The month was up and they agreed that things where going well and that she was to continue. The issue started when a colleuge added her on Facebook and found out she had a child, which she had not informed anyone of, I think she was ashamed of the stigma attached to being a single teen mum.

    A day after this she got a call from the boss and practice owner asking her if she could work Fridays in addition to the weekends. My daughter had to say no due to studying commitments, she told them she could work on her day off which was Wednesday. He said it wasn’t a problem and that was that.

    A few days later she gets another call from him saying he was informed by the other receptionist that she had a child. He asked why she didn’t inform him of this during the interview and she said she didn’t think it was necessary and he did not ask. He then told her that he didn’t think it was going to work and that he wouldn’t be needing her.

    She was obviously very upset but she is being mature about it, she took it in her stride and says she wants to focus on uni and her son.

    Surely he couldn’t fire her for not disclosing she had a child? He asked her to work more hours right before he fired her, why would he do that if it “wasn’t working out”
Page 1
    • Masomnia
    • By Masomnia 14th Mar 18, 11:28 PM
    • 17,196 Posts
    • 38,132 Thanks
    Masomnia
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:28 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:28 PM
    No he can't fire her for that.

    She could bring a claim against him, but it's whether she wants to pursue it or not.
    “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” - P.G. Wodehouse
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 14th Mar 18, 11:32 PM
    • 19,141 Posts
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    jobbingmusician
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:32 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:32 PM
    Good god! Please do contact the Equal Opportunities Commission and tell them this story. https://www.eoc.org.uk/contact-us/ I appreciate that the employer will probably deny that her dismissal had anything to do with her parental status, but he (and I bet it was a he!) might be stupid enough to say something that will give his antedeluvian ideas away.

    Fume, fume, fume on behalf of all women!
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    The good folk of the matched betting board are now (I hope!) supporting Macmillan, in memory of Fifigrace. Visit
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    • Amanda399
    • By Amanda399 14th Mar 18, 11:38 PM
    • 2 Posts
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    Amanda399
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:38 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:38 PM
    Thanks, it!!!8217;s good to know it isn!!!8217;t a legal requirement for her to disclose her perental status, I didn!!!8217;t think it was. He also asked her what age she was when she got pregnant prior to firing her (17) so I believe she was dismissed because of his !!!8220;disgust!!!8221; and opinion towards the situation
    • Zandy_23
    • By Zandy_23 14th Mar 18, 11:39 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Zandy_23
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:39 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:39 PM
    It's totally unfair and she could truly file a claim from her employer for doing that. That's against existing labor laws. I would suggest that she files a claim so the company she use to work for will learn their lesson.
    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 14th Mar 18, 11:41 PM
    • 5,803 Posts
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    Takeaway_Addict
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:41 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:41 PM
    Anything in writing? If not you will find it difficult to prove.
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • elsien
    • By elsien 14th Mar 18, 11:42 PM
    • 16,399 Posts
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    elsien
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:42 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:42 PM
    Another learning curve for her - don't mix social media and work colleagues. It causes far too much strife.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 15th Mar 18, 6:53 AM
    • 1,435 Posts
    • 1,376 Thanks
    xapprenticex
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 18, 6:53 AM
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 18, 6:53 AM
    She has been there 3 months and she wont get the job back, she can do as suggested, their word against hers. Given enough time they WILL come up with another reason for dismissal.

    What she REALLY needs to do is get rid of facebook or change her FB name at least so people cant find her. And do not accept work colleagues.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 15th Mar 18, 6:57 AM
    • 16,686 Posts
    • 41,273 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #9
    • 15th Mar 18, 6:57 AM
    • #9
    • 15th Mar 18, 6:57 AM
    Just a bit of a warning though, this didn't happen to you but your daughter and however much you understandably believe your daughter fully, there could be more to it all that she hasn't told you.

    If indeed she could evidence that he had sacked her only and purely because she has a child, she would have a good case, but can she evidence it? Could he denied he said this, or at least admit that he did, but be able to come up with a valid reason why he dismissed her, if only to say that the demand of the job changed and they needed someone to work longer hours, which your daughter couldn't do. Unfortunately, when employed under 2 years, your rights are next to none and it's not that difficult to come up with some reasonable cause for letting someone go.

    The other thing to consider is that she'd only been there for 3 months, so worked only 12 week-ends. Her loss can't be considered to be huge, so even if she did manage to convince a judge, her compensation might not be worthwhile the time and energy to build her case.

    I really feel for your daughter, she must feel very aggrieved but she is better off focusing on her studies and trying to find another job, this time ensuring she doesn't divulge anything and staying away from mixing social media and work.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 15th Mar 18, 9:19 AM
    • 20,155 Posts
    • 15,879 Thanks
    agrinnall
    I agree that if what has happened is as described it's very poor, and indeed probably illegal. I doubt if it's worth pursuing, but perhaps in future she should consider revealing at interview that she does have a child - it might prevent a similar situation arising again, and would mean she doesn't have to provide an awkward explanation should she need to take time off at very short notice for parental reasons. Any employer that feels being an unmarried mother is a stigma is probably one she wouldn't want to work for anyway.
    • macman
    • By macman 15th Mar 18, 9:40 AM
    • 41,894 Posts
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    macman
    The fact that she has less than 2 years service, and was in a probationary period does not prevent her from claiming unfair dismissal on the grounds of unlawful discrimination, which this clearly is.
    However, as another poster has pointed out, proving it could be very difficult without any written evidence, if the employer alleges that he failed to keep her on purely because 'it wasn't working out'.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 15th Mar 18, 10:01 AM
    • 32,035 Posts
    • 19,224 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Put the word out there(not via social media)

    She must have a good network of old school friends, new mums and college.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 15th Mar 18, 10:36 AM
    • 8,356 Posts
    • 6,176 Thanks
    pmduk
    A vet's practice is usually dependent on local trade, so start getting the word out locally.
    • Les79
    • By Les79 15th Mar 18, 10:38 AM
    • 208 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Les79
    Good god! Please do contact the Equal Opportunities Commission and tell them this story. https://www.eoc.org.uk/contact-us/ I appreciate that the employer will probably deny that her dismissal had anything to do with her parental status, but he (and I bet it was a he!) might be stupid enough to say something that will give his antedeluvian ideas away.

    Fume, fume, fume on behalf of all women!
    Originally posted by jobbingmusician
    I have to say but I do find it quite funny how you've linked to the Equal Opportunities Commission and then gone on to say "I bet it was a he" Gotta love that gender stereotyping! Only about 1 or 2 steps down from the boss in OP's situation, you do realise?

    Little tip for the future, look out for pronouns in the post. If you'd have seen the OP's use of "he" then you wouldn't have needed to "bet" on anything here.... And you could have hidden your prejudices towards young mothers men a bit better
    Last edited by Les79; 15-03-2018 at 10:49 AM.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 15th Mar 18, 10:46 AM
    • 1,906 Posts
    • 2,801 Thanks
    shortcrust
    She has been there 3 months and she wont get the job back, she can do as suggested, their word against hers. Given enough time they WILL come up with another reason for dismissal.

    What she REALLY needs to do is get rid of facebook or change her FB name at least so people cant find her. And do not accept work colleagues.
    Originally posted by xapprenticex
    This is true I'm afraid. It's not fair but all the employer has to say is 'I didn't say that! What sort of monster do you think I am?! She was sacked because her work wasn't up to scratch' and that'll be the end of it.
    Last edited by shortcrust; 15-03-2018 at 12:40 PM.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 15th Mar 18, 10:51 AM
    • 1,906 Posts
    • 2,801 Thanks
    shortcrust
    I have to say but I do find it quite funny how you've linked to the Equal Opportunities Commission and then gone on to say "I bet it was a he" Gotta love that gender stereotyping! Only about 1 or 2 steps down from the boss in OP's situation, you do realise?

    Little tip for the future, look out for pronouns in the post. If you'd have seen the OP's use of "he" then you wouldn't have needed to "bet" on anything here.... And you could have hidden your prejudices towards young mothers men a bit better
    Originally posted by Les79
    Yeah I have to agree, especially as this could just as easily have happened to a male employee in the same situation.

    Horrible men!
    • Wyndham
    • By Wyndham 15th Mar 18, 12:18 PM
    • 2,014 Posts
    • 2,309 Thanks
    Wyndham
    I agree that if what has happened is as described it's very poor, and indeed probably illegal. I doubt if it's worth pursuing, but perhaps in future she should consider revealing at interview that she does have a child - it might prevent a similar situation arising again, and would mean she doesn't have to provide an awkward explanation should she need to take time off at very short notice for parental reasons. Any employer that feels being an unmarried mother is a stigma is probably one she wouldn't want to work for anyway.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    No, no, no, no, no! If asked at interview answer truthfully, but I really can't think of a situation where it would ever be a valid interview question. And if it is asked, they need to be sure they ask both men and women the same question.

    What an awful situation. I'd love to think it couldn't happen these days, but I'm sure it still sometimes does.
    • Vegas2010
    • By Vegas2010 15th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Vegas2010
    No, no, no, no, no! If asked at interview answer truthfully, but I really can't think of a situation where it would ever be a valid interview question. And if it is asked, they need to be sure they ask both men and women the same question.

    What an awful situation. I'd love to think it couldn't happen these days, but I'm sure it still sometimes does.
    Originally posted by Wyndham


    I feel for the OPs daughter, horrid situation when they sound like they're doing really well to try and educate, work and bring up a child at the same time.


    On the point quoted, I'm male, more established in my career, but would actively seek to tell an interviewer I have kids. I think it's required to check the job has flexibility around the hours I work to accommodate events I want to see my kids in, illnesses they may get etc. If that's going to be an issue then I'd prefer to know up front so I'm not working for an employer that I'm not going to get on with.


    As mentioned I do appreciate though I'm in a fortunate position where I can pick and choose but I see now reason to hide anything about myself in an interview as that's who they're going to get when they employ me.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 15th Mar 18, 1:13 PM
    • 11,499 Posts
    • 13,382 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    To get back to the original question.

    First of all I think it is important to check what evidence your daughter has to support her claim for unfair dismissal due to discrimination.

    So, possibly,
    Screen shots of Facebook conversations with work colleague
    Telephone records to show boss telephoned her to offer her extra hours
    Telephone record to show boss telephoned her to tell her that he did not want her any more
    Witness statement from work colleague(s) about conversations with boss re: her child and not disclosing (this obviously might be difficult)

    I feel very strongly about this so am wondering if your daughter has legal cover with her home insurance? Or could use an employment specialist at CAB? Or could use a No Win No Fee solicitor?

    Seeking professional help would lessen the stress for your daughter and also they would be able to advise whether the case had 'grounds'.

    I do accept this one would be difficult to prove but if there is any chance then I believe the employer should be brought 'to book'.

    Personally I would, at least, investigate and then, depending on the advice, go to an employment tribunal.

    This isn't about compensation, it is about protecting rights.

    Useful link (keep following internal links):

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/leaving-a-job/dismissal/challenge-your-dismissal/
    • seatbeltnoob
    • By seatbeltnoob 15th Mar 18, 1:19 PM
    • 447 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    seatbeltnoob
    People have a habit of overseeing their own shortcomings and finding blame elsewhere. If the worker was performing and doing everything they were contracted to do then there would be no reason to fire her. Part timers/students are hired because they want part time hours and are meant to be flexible.



    The employer may have wanted that seeing she was a student, but then seeing that she was a parent and demonstrating that she was inflexible due to being a single parent this may have been the deal breaker. That is the inflexibility rather than being a parent.


    A veterinarian is fairly educated and must have been an experienced employer hiring and firing people therefore to just bluntly say she's being fired because she's a parent is implausible
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