A real-estate manager who waged a legal battle against a former employer who she said failed to seriously consider her work flexibility request has been awarded £185,000 at an employment tribunal in the United Kingdom.
Alice Thompson had asked her employer if she could change up her work hours so that she could leave by 5:00pm instead of at 6:00pm She was also asking for a shift to a four-day work week.
She had just returned from maternity leave and wanted to leave her job earlier so that she could pick up her daughter from daycare.
Her employer said no, and did not provide a counteroffer.
Thompson resigned from her role and then took her former employer to an employment tribunal.
“If they needed me for the full hours, maybe eight ’til five instead of nine ’til six, that’s something I could have worked around,” she told BBC Radio 4 show “Woman’s Hour.” “How are mums meant to have careers and families? It’s 2021 not 1971.”
The tribunal ruled that one of Thompson’s claims, that she suffered “indirect sex discrimination” when her request wasn’t properly considered, was valid. That claim was successful.
“Under UK employment law, employees with more than 26 weeks of service have a right to ask to work flexibly. Employers have to consider their request, but they can deny it on the grounds that it could be detrimental to the business,” reports Business Insider.
Thompson was not successful with all of her claims, however. The tribunal did reject the claim that she had been “unfairly dismissed and directly discriminated against.”
Compensation towards Thompson for the successful complaint included interest, pension payments, loss of income, and over £10,000 for “loss of feelings”, according to a report from the tribunal.