Single mum wins £18K against employer who tried to impose weekend working

A beauty therapist has successfully sued her employer for unfair dismissal and indirect sex discrimination after she was sacked because she couldn’t work weekend due to childcare problems.

Emma Holt, a single parent who worked at Carlisle health club, won an £18,000 payout from Bannatyne Fitness Limited to the employment tribunal.

Her employer had asked her to switch her working pattern to include weekends, although she said she could not do so because she had no childcare cover for her son.

Prior to the change, Holt had only worked weekends in exceptional circumstances, for instance, when a colleague was sick. The tribunal ruled that her contract did not include weekends as part of her normal working pattern. Holt says she was dismissed when she refused to comply with working regular weekends. The company, which admitted unfair dismissal but not sex discrimination, claimed she was made redundant.

 Holt argued that it had previously been agreed that she work flexible hours Monday to Friday to accommodate her son.

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