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Pregnancy-related sex discrimination case settles

A local woman has been paid £25,000 in settlement of her sex-discrimination claim against her former employer, Intern Europe Ltd, a Belfast-based company.
 
Ms Faulkner, from Bangor, worked at the company since 2010.  During her maternity leave, Ms Faulkner had asked to work the same hours in a different pattern, but instead the company reduced her hours.  Returning from maternity leave, Ms Faulkner was told her post was at risk of redundancy and she was asked to consider an option where she chose to leave the company rather than being formally made redundant. 
 
Ms Faulkner said ‘Before I told them of my pregnancy I felt I was a respected member of their staff and that my work was appreciated.  Afterwards, I felt isolated, excluded, sidelined and ignored. When I returned to work after the birth of my child, to be confronted with a proposal to terminate my employment, I was shocked and upset.’
 
Ms Faulkner was assisted by the Equality Commission to bring a case against the company.  Solicitor Mary Kitson said
‘All employers need to make sure that pregnant women and returning mothers have a supportive environment with flexible, family friendly policies and practices.’
 
Read BBC’s article here.  Read The Equality Commission’s article here.

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