I was a senior manager with a recruitment firm. I had been with them for 10 years when I fell pregnant with my 3rd child (the 2nd at that company). During the 20 week scan we discovered our son had a congenital heart defect and was told he would need open heart surgery as soon as he was born. I started my maternity and gave birth a couple of weeks later in April 2008. Immediately it became apparent that the heart condition was just the beginning. He was diagnosed with Charge Syndrome and had facial palsy, profound deafness to name but a few of his problems. He was operated on at a hospital 70 miles away and we visited him daily whilst having to maintain a household for the other children. It was during one of the drives home that I discovered my job had been given to someone else – not on a maternity or temporary cover but given to someone internally on a permanent basis. I immediate contacted my MD who admitted the move but just said “he had a business to run”. I was 6 weeks into my maternity leave, my son was 1 month old. I was assured that they would find ‘a’ job for me on my return.
I heard nothing whatsoever from them for the next 3 months until I resigned and advised them I would be taking them to tribunal for constructive dismissal, sexual discrimination and disability discrimination by association. It took 1 year but they eventually settled out of court to the tune of £100K.
Remember – this was a recruitment company – they knew what recruitment law was!