Pregnant woman made redundant awarded €20,000

Tue, Jul 17, 2012, 01:00

A WOMAN made redundant from an accountancy firm when six months pregnant has been awarded € 20,000 in compensation for discriminatory dismissal.

The Equality Tribunal found that KA Accountants and Financial Advisors had discriminated against its former employee on the grounds of gender.

The woman worked at the company for more than 2½ years until she was selected for redundancy in May 2009.

Her job involved managing client bank reconciliations and preparing accounts. She claimed she had been given the “cold shoulder” by one of the firm’s partners after she told the company she was pregnant in March 2009, the tribunal heard. This was denied by the company.

In April 2009 she and a colleague were told that their section was not performing efficiently and their situation would be reviewed.

In May 2009 she was told her position was being made redundant due to the economic downturn and the loss of a key client.

The woman maintained that the cost of her maternity leave was the real determining factor in her selection for redundancy. The company denied this.

The company said it told employees in January 2009 that it had lost a key client and would have to make someone redundant if the situation did not improve.

The company said that it had not hired any additional staff since she was made redundant.

Equality officer for the tribunal Tara Coogan was not satisfied that the manner in which the redundancy was decided was “transparent and fair” nor that “other options were explored”.

Ms Coogan awarded her €20,000.