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    Constructive dismissal

    £50,000 job “lost because of baby”

    A mother was forced to leave here £50,000-a-year job after revealing that she was pregnant with her second child, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.

    Jacqueline Blanchfield, 34, claimed directors at Western Asset Global management, suggested that she should not return after maternity leave and “coerced” her into leaving her job as human resources manager. 

    Mrs. Blanchfield, from Barnes, southwest London, is claiming constructive dismissal and sexual discrimination. 

    Mrs. Blanchfield told the tribunal in Stratford, East London, that her director Gavin James, had questioned whether she would be able to juggle her job as human resources manager with the stress of a new baby. She said that he turned down her request to work part-time and suggested she should not return after her maternity leave last July. 

    When she told her colleagues that she was pregnant in March last year, she said: “Gavin, even at that time, made a comment to the effect that I would not be able to perform my job with two children.” She said that Mr. James told her that the firm was considering a settlement if she resigned. 

    She said that, prior to her maternity leave, she had been disillusioned with her job but had not seriously considered leaving. She said that she had asked her boss if she could work part-time, but was told it would be “virtually impossible”. She resigned last September after ten years with the company. 

    David Griffiths-Jones, representing the firm, said that there had been no discrimination. He said that Mrs. Blanchfield only lodged her claim because she was insulted at being offered a £13,000 payoff. 

    He said, “She regarded that as an insult. It was only at that point that she made allegations of sexual discrimination.” Judgment was reserved.

    “The Times”