Pregnant Barmaid Dismissed because bosses didn’t want someone “fat, wobbly and useless behind the bar”

The owners of the John O’Gaunt pub in Hungerford, the Innformal Pub Company, are being prosecuted in a tribunal by the pub’s former landlady, Rachel Skiffington, who claims she was sacked for becoming pregnant and was told by her bosses  that they ‘didn’t want someone fat, wobbly and useless behind the bar’.

Rachel and her partner Chris had lived and worked at the gastro pub for nearly six months when she unexpectedly became pregnant. At the Reading Tribunal her bosses claimed that she was not sacked but rather she had resigned, which Rachel firmly denied.

Rachel is suing the Innformal Pub Company for sexual discrimination, unfair dismissal, breach of contract and breach of maternity regulations. On telling her boss about her pregnancy, Rachel claims he immediately said she would not get any maternity pay. She then received an email from the company’s area manager asking for her resignation which was never her intention.

To make matters worse, while researching her rights as a pregnant woman she found out that her employers had not paid her or her partner’s National Insurance contributions, which they claimed was an oversight by the company’s accountant.

Jacqueline Webb, Employment Partner says, ”It comes as no surprise that both parties are claiming the other is at fault, and this appears to be a case of “she said”, “he said”.  It would seem that the Innformal Pub Company has failed to follow due procedure when dismissing an employee, especially one who has informed them she is pregnant.

“The credibility of the Innformal Pub Company plummeted as they did not pay either Rachel’s or her partner’s National Insurance contributions. There is no excuse for a company to have employees and not put them on the books and pay their NI. In any situation where either an employee feels they have been badly treated, or if an employer wants to remove an unsatisfactory employee, it is essential that they get legal advice because going to a Tribunal in either case is extremely expensive and it’s always preferable to settle cases before it goes that far.”

If you think you’ve been treated unfairly at work then contact Jackie Webb and her team on 01582 870870 to reach our Luton, Milton Keynes and Tring offices or email