Primark, who has been accused of “sexism” by his mother, asked for time off for Thursday’s late shift

A new mum, who worked at Primark for eight years, has won an appeal in the Labor Court after she quit her job over a disagreement after returning from maternity leave

Primark in Bury town centre
Primark in Bury town centre

A Primark employee who quit her job after being told she had to make herself available for a weekly late shift accused the retailer of sexism.

The woman, who worked as a department head, pleaded indirect sex discrimination and constructive wrongful dismissal before a court, where she was initially unsuccessful.

But she has now won her appeal – with a judge ordering her case to be retried after ruling that the original court “did not properly handle” her complaint, noting Manchester evening news.

The new mum, who worked in Bury, Manchester, requested a change to her contracted hours as she prepared to return to work after maternity leave in November 2019.

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The mother had tried to change her contractually agreed working hours



The manager told the court that he would comply with the mother’s request not to work late shifts on other days but could not do so on Thursdays.

He said she does not have to work the late shift – which ran between 10.30am and 8.30pm – every Thursday, but urged her to ensure her work availability if “it is absolutely necessary and there is no alternative cover”.

But the woman was unavailable as she had sole responsibility for her child and limited support from her mother.

Primark’s refusal led to the woman resigning from her position as store manager.

In her lawsuit against the fashion retailer, she argued that department heads’ contractual obligation to guarantee availability “puts women at a particular disadvantage compared to men”.

Although her case was initially dismissed, her appeal was upheld by the Chief Labor Court of Appeals, Ms Justice Eady.

She ruled that the court, in assessing the woman’s case, had compared the discriminatory effect it had on her with two male colleagues on whom Primark “did not apply the same level of coercion, namely requiring her availability for the late shifts in question to guarantee. “

The judge added that the pool selected contained “no apparent logic” and therefore the tribunal’s conclusions “must be set aside in their entirety”.

The case is now being referred back to the original court, which must examine the mother’s allegations of indirect discrimination and actual unfair dismissal.

A Primark spokesman said: “We are aware of the case in question. Equality and fairness are core values ​​we hold dear at Primark and underpin how we work to provide a supportive and inclusive workplace for every employee.”

If you feel you are being discriminated against because of pregnancy or maternity, you can contact the Pregnant then Screwed toll-free helpline on 0161 222 9879.

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