Woman who had baby sues over lost job

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The Independent Online
A stable-groom's wages were cut after she became pregnant and she lost her job after giving birth, a tribunal heard yesterday.

Nicola Macleod said she was given just two days to leave her free accommodation at the farm of the Hon Sir John Chadwick.

The tribunal at Southampton heard that Ms Macleod began work at the Chadwicks' farm at East Meon, Hampshire, in June 1993. She was paid pounds 90 a week.

Ms Macleod, 26, said that a week after she told her employers she was pregnant she was told that it was not suitable to bring up a baby on the farm. She could remain in the flat until the baby was mobile, but the Chadwicks would then reduce her wages to pounds 25 a week.

The following July she went to Scotland to stay with her parents but she fell ill and was admitted to hospital where the baby was born. "After two weeks in hospital my pounds 25 ... was stopped. A form arrived saying that the Chadwicks would not pay me sick pay or maternity pay as my earnings were too low." Ms Macleod added that Mrs Chadwick rang her saying there would not be a job for her as they were selling the horses. Two days after her baby was released from hospital, Ms Macleod was asked to leave the farm. Sir John said that after Ms Macleod left her accommodation she was sent pounds 400 to cover redundancy.

Ms Macleod is claiming deduction from wages, unfair dismissal, and sexual discrimination. The tribunal's decision will be announced at a later date.

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