£17,000 for sacked pregnant worker

Liz Earle beauty company has admitted to falling “short of our standards” after they were ordered to pay £17k to a pregnant employee who was made redundant.

Helen Larkin, who had worked for Liz Earle for five years, was eight months pregnant when she was given two weeks’ notice of her redundancy. After unsuccessfully applying for two other roles, she
claimed she was rejected due to her upcoming maternity.

Liz Earle claimed that Larkin’s redundancy was not due to her pregnancy, but a restructuring where three roles were being terminated.

Following Larkin’s successful claim, an employment rights campaign group has called for the three-month time limit for women to file claims to be doubled.


There are an increasing number of self-represented employee’s bringing employment tribunal claims against their employers. This case shows that self-represented employees are not to be taken
for granted as although they are not legally qualified, if they can successfully show they have been wronged by their employers, the employment tribunal will have no problem in finding in their favour.

Even in cases where the employee is unsuccessful, companies can rack up huge legal fees in defending the claim. Our advice in a redundancy situation is always to follow a proper process to ensure
the company is not leaving itself vulnerable to unfair dismissal claims.