Catering company's treatment of female employee breached discrimination laws
The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced that a catering company discriminated against a female employee at Shepparton in regional Victoria because of her pregnancy, the Fair Work Ombudsman has found.
Holtham Family Pty Ltd, trading as The Soup Box, has agreed to apologise to its former employee and pay her $2000 compensation following an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The company has also agreed to seek specialist workplace relations advice - particularly about discrimination - at its own expense to ensure its future compliance with workplace laws.
Holtham has signed an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman as an alternative to litigation, in which it admits The Soup Box:
- Systematically reduced the woman's hours of work because of her pregnancy and anticipated unpaid parental leave,
- Changed the woman's duties at work because of her pregnancy and anticipated unpaid parental leave,
- Discriminated between the woman and other employees by reducing her shifts because of her pregnancy and unpaid parental leave, and
- Constructively dismissed the woman because of the above conduct.
- In a letter of apology to the former employee and a notice to be given to all its staff, The Soup Box expresses its "sincere regret" for its behaviour and gives a commitment that it will not happen again.
The circumstances surrounding the woman's case were investigated after she lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
In addition to the discrimination, the Fair Work Ombudsman found that The Soup Box had failed to provide the employee with the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) before or as soon as practicable after she commenced work.
It also found that The Soup Box had not put any job offer to the woman in writing nor provided a written contact of employment.