The owner of a shut-down firm has been ordered to pay almost £5,000 to a former receptionist who lost her job after contracting a pregnancy-related illness.
Employment Judge Jones, sitting at the East London tribunal, said Ms K. Nasreen was treated unfavourably because of her condition and was subject to a discriminatory dismissal.
The claimant had brought her claim for unfair dismissal, discrimination and unlawful deduction of wages against Dr Akbar Ali Malik, trading as Malik Law Solicitors. He did not appear and was not represented. The firm was intervened into by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in April 2018 as there was reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of the firm’s managers Malik and Imtiaz Ali Malik.
The tribunal heard that Nasreen had worked for four years at the firm before she suffered pregnancy-related illness in January 2018. After four weeks off, supported by a medical certificate advising her not to return to work, her husband contacted the practice and was told she was no longer required.
Further medical certificates were hand delivered, but Nasreen received no reply.
When she sought the help of Citizens Advice, the claimant was she told had been dismissed because she took unauthorised holiday in 2017 – an allegation that was denied.
The tribunal found Nasreen was entitled to her wages for January 2018, as well as outstanding holiday pay. She was awarded a further two months’ pay, covering the time she would have worked at the firm before its intervention. The tribunal ordered Dr Malik pay a further £500 as remedy for injury to feelings.