A Mothercare worker, who claims that she was bullied by a senior member of staff after informing her she was pregnant, is making a psychological injury compensation claim.
Traci Winchcombe worked as an assistant manager in the Canterbury branch of the high street store. She claims that after telling the manager she was pregnant, she was bullied into keeping quiet about her situation to avoid upsetting colleagues who had suffered miscarriages or abortions. She has reported to a tribunal that manager Jacque McDonald became ‘abrupt’ and ‘rude’ after she informed her of her pregnancy.
An employment tribunal heard an emotional Traci explain; “‘I didn’t understand why I was not allowed to mention my pregnancy. This really upset me. I felt Jacque and Mothercare wanted to get rid of me because I was pregnant.”
Ms Winchcombe also revealed that she was reduced to tears after daily harassment at work. She alleges she was frequently shouted at and abused in front of staff and customers. Ms McDonald claims that she only asked Traci to refrain from speaking about abortions on the shop floor. A colleague however attempted to back up Traci’s claim by admitting that she overheard ‘shocking’ treatment of her. Mothercare’s legal team has accused Ms Winchcombe of lying.
Traci was later dismissed from her post for administrative errors. She is however not claiming unfair dismissal but psychological injury compensation for her harassment. If successful she could receive up to £25,000.