Employee awarded £11,000 as maternity ‘pause clause’ was discriminatory

21 June 2018

The Employment Tribunal has awarded a claimant over £11,000 in compensation for loss of earnings and injury to feelings after finding that she had been subjected to discrimination.

Redmans Solicitors reported that Ms Walworth worked for Scrivens Ltd and the company implemented a policy that if an employee left their employment within a particular period of time then they would have to repay a proportion of their training costs incurred.

In August 2015 Ms Walworth informed Scrivens Ltd that she was pregnant and that she would go on maternity leave in April 2016. Human Resources wrote to Ms Walworth on 11 January 2016 to confirm that she was going on maternity leave and that the training repayment period under her training agreement would be ‘paused’ for her period of maternity leave.

Whilst Ms Walworth was on maternity leave she informed Human Resources that she may not return to work from maternity leave; a letter was subsequently sent to Ms Walworth confirming that if she did leave her job then she would have to give twelve weeks’ notice of termination and that she would have to repay the entirety of her training costs.

Ms Scrivens subsequently wrote to Scrivens Ltd to complain that she was submitting her notice of termination and that she believed that the effect of the ‘pause clause’ was discriminatory.

Ms Walworth subsequently brought a claim for constructive dismissal and pregnancy maternity discrimination (among other claims). The Employment Tribunal upheld her claims for discrimination (section 18 Equality Act 2010) and constructive dismissal.

The Employment Tribunal’s purpose at this hearing was to consider what remedy Ms Walworth was entitled to. In the remedy judgment the Employment Tribunal held that Ms Walworth should be awarded the following compensation:

  • A basic award of £2,615.36 (in respect of the claim for unfair dismissal)

  • Financial losses: £4,148.50

  • Compensation for injury to feelings: £4,374.36 (inclusive of interest)

  • Unpaid holiday pay: £325.59 (inclusive of interest


The full judgement of Ms M Walworth v Scrivens Ltd is available on GOV.UK.