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Pregnant teacher wins unfair dismissal claim

A teacher who was dismissed by an independent girls’ school after she became pregnant has won her claim of unfair dismissal.

Rebecca Raven had worked at Howell’s School in Denbigh, North Wales since 2008 and became a full time art teacher in 2009. She told her employers that she had become pregnant in May 2011 and would need to take maternity leave from the following November.

However, her employers dismissed her and said she would have to leave when the school closed for the summer holidays. They invited her to apply to work part time as an art teacher, but when she did they didn’t give her the job.

She made a claim of unfair dismissal.

The employment tribunal at Shrewsbury held that the school had been in breach of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Equality Act 2010.

In giving the tribunal’s judgment, Judge D Thompson said: "We have no hesitation in concluding that the reason for the dismissal in this case was the claimant’s pregnancy/maternity leave and as such was automatically unfair contrary to the Employment Rights Act 1996.

"We unanimously conclude this dismissal was discriminatory on the grounds of the claimant’s pregnancy/maternity leave request."

The amount of compensation due to Mrs Raven will be decided at a further hearing.

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