A western Sydney childcare worker, sacked for being pregnant, has earned six months compensation in defiance of moves by the Federal Government to block unfair dismissal rights.
Lisa-Maree Wintle, an LHMU Child Care Union member, was sacked by Another World 4 Kids Kindergarten-Pre-school after telling the boss she wanted to take maternity leave to have her first baby.
New laws would stop this unfair dismissal win
But the Federal Government plans to introduce a law which would stop Lisa-Maree, and anyone else at a workplace of less than 101 people, having the right to win this type of case by challenging an unfair sacking.
NSW Industrial Rrelations Commissioner, Ian Cambridge, said the injustice of the sacking of Lisa-Maree provided a “case study for the protection provided by unfair dismissal laws.”
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Commissioner says law should back basic human dignity
The NSW Industrial Relations Commission was scathing of the treatment of Lisa-Marie by her employer.
“If contemporary objective standards determine that it would be acceptable to dismiss someone because they were pregnant, one might envisage a society absent of an important protection for basic human dignity,” Commissioner Cambridge said.
Handing down the judgement the Commissioner told the LHMU – who represented Lisa-Maree – that it was hard to contemplate that any employer “acting with such abhorrent disregard for the circumstances of a pregnant woman” might be able to avoid being held to account on the grounds it was a small business.
Maximum fine on child care centre
The company claimed Wintle had left a Christmas party, for children and parents at 6pm, before it had finished.
Wintle pointed out her working day was from 7.30am to 3pm and that on this day she needed to get home.
She had informed the centre of her pregnancy weeks earlier.
In awarding her the maximum compensation available, Commissioner Cambridge said reasons for the dismissal, advanced by the childcare operation, had been “spurious.”
Still committed to childcare sector
Despite Ms Wintle’s experiencess it is still note enough to put her off childcare – she recently returned to work in the sector.
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