An Islamic kindergarten teacher has won nearly £25,000 in her pregnancy discrimination case after a panel ruled her dismissal was unlawful, according to reports.
Zahra Faqi, a former Assunnah Primary School employee in Tottenham, was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum – a condition that results in excessive nausea and vomiting during pregnancy – after being hospitalised in 2019.
Though she informed her manager, Mohammed Yusuf, regarding the condition. But he blasted her for ‘affecting the future development’ of her pupils.
The tribunal heard that Yusuf pressed to know if her ailment was a ‘long term issue’ and when she was ‘likely to improve’. He also demanded she repay £109 she had been overpaid while off sick, media reports said.
Faqi was asked to come to the school in March for a meeting and was instructed to bring her medical letter and notes with her.
The day before the meeting, the school emailed her saying that the meeting had been rescheduled for the next day.
She arrived for the meeting at the scheduled time with her partner – who had taken time off work to accompany her – but no staff from the school turned up.
Faqi didn’t get any response when she informed authorities about the ‘failed’ meeting. But in April, she was asked by her team leader to complete ‘children’s summary reports’ for an upcoming parent-teacher consultation day, the tribunal heard.
Later, Yusuf sent her a mail seeking more details about her condition. But the teacher replied that she could not tell a specific time by which her condition will improve.
Yusuf emailed Faqi later in April to formally dismiss her from her position – less than three months after she had found out she was pregnant.
“Looking at your performance in periods of probation, we would like to conclude that we cannot continue with your employment at the school. I appreciate that you have ongoing medical issues, however, the medical grounds have resulted in a compromise of you performing your role affecting the future development of our children,” he was quoted as saying by the media.
“We ask Allah to cure you and free you from all difficulties. We also ask that our children’s future can be sufficiently recovered.”
He didn’t give her a right to appeal against the decision to dismiss her.
“We have noted that (Ms Faqi) got better after the period of sickness absence that she had. We have taken into account that this was a blatant act of discrimination. It was evident on the face of the email by which (she) was dismissed which drew the connection between (her) dismissal and her pregnancy-related absence,” the panel, headed by Employment Judge Thomas Brown, has ruled.