At no point did I feel that the Tribunal were on my side in spite of over-whelming evidence and sustained poor treatment

My issues began shortly after returning from maternity leave with my first child, on a compressed hours working pattern. I wasn’t aware at the time but later learned that, within a few months of my return, my Director had started planning a re-org of my team that saw my role being made redundant. I’d been with the company for 7 years by this point and had an exceptional performance record. However, around the same time, I started to have team members removed and transferred to other teams, to receive poor performance reviews, and to be generally side-lined. This treatment continued and increased following the announcement of my second pregnancy. Within six months, all but two of my original team members had been moved out. Knowing that the writing was on the wall, I lodged a formal grievance. My notice of redundancy came through around two months later. I was 8.5 months pregnant on my last working day. My role was replaced three months later. I later learnt that I was one of a few individuals who’d been selected for redundancy – at least three of whom were also heavily pregnant. After refusing to sign a compromise agreement, I took the company to the Employment Tribunal but, due to the timescales involved, had to submit my claim whilst caring for a four week old baby and a just-turned-two year old. In spite of a substantial out-of-court offer, I ultimately lost the case due to a lack of evidence, even though the Director accused didn’t even turn up.
More than anything the whole experience left me very disillusioned by the very service that is supposed to support the victims of this treatment. At no point did I feel that the Tribunal were on my side in spite of over-whelming evidence and sustained poor treatment, validated by my team members who bore witness to it all.
Fortunately, I work in a field where my skills are very much in demand so I’m now back working in a senior role for a much more enlightened employer, however, it’s truly depressing to read the other stories and learn how common place these problems still are. I hope that mine can somehow add to the collective voice so that our daughters don’t have to suffer these same experiences.

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