An Eddie Stobart employee who was made redundant while pregnant has been awarded £10,000 in compensation following a tribunal.
Caitlin Graham worked as a planner for the haulage firm at its Newhouse depot in Scotland, however her role was put at risk of redundancy following a reorganisation.
Her job, as well as eight other planners, were replaced with new transport shift managers (TSM) and Graham applied for one of these roles, hoping that as she was pregnant she would be protected.
However, Eddie Stobart told her she did not have an automatic entitlement to a promotion because the new jobs were of a higher grade.
The worker subsequently interviewed for the shift manager position and was unsuccessful.
Graham then submitted a written grievance and claimed that the company had not found her a suitable vacancy in the haulage firm, but the tribunal heard that the emails she had sent were filtered out by Eddie Stobart’s IT security system and her managers did not receive them.
In his written judgment, Judge Neilson said: “The claimant submits that her dismissal was ‘connected’ with her pregnancy or the fact that she was taking maternity leave.
“However, the respondents led evidence, which was not challenged, that there was a genuine redundancy exercise with regard to the removal of nine planner positions at the Newhouse Depot.
“Under cross examination the claimant accepted that the real reason for dismissal was redundancy. In the view of the tribunal the reason she was dismissed was redundancy.”
He added that the tribunal was not satisfied that there was any evidence to suggest Graham had not been successful at the interview due to her pregnancy or maternity leave either.
However, the judge said Eddie Stobart should have done more to enable her to challenge the decision and it should have been aware that emails were being prevented from reaching their destination: “The tribunal considers that this does amount to a detriment – as the claimant did not have the opportunity to have her grievance dealt with,” he said.
“The tribunal accepts the evidence of the claimant that she was upset by the manner in which her case was dealt with by the respondent and in particular what appeared to her to be the failure of the respondent to take seriously her position that she had a right to be offered the TSM role as a suitable vacancy.
“The tribunal determines that an injury to feelings award in the sum of £10,000 would be appropriate in this case.”
Eddie Stobart declined to comment.