Monica started work at a nursery in 2015 when she was 19 years old. Initially a Nursery Assistant, she worked her way up to the position of Assistant Manager. In early 2018, she became pregnant and informed her employer accordingly. It was agreed that she would start her maternity leave in June 2018. However, in April 2018 the nursery was sold to a new owner. The new owner, who knew that Monica was pregnant, told her that the number of children enrolled at the nursery had dropped and therefore there was not enough work to justify keeping her on. An appeal against dismissal was unsuccessful.
At 22 years old, Monica – a single parent – found herself with a new-born baby, no Statutory Maternity Pay, and no job. Citizens Advice took up her case. A claim was submitted to the Employment Tribunal for Pregnancy Discrimination, Automatic Unfair Dismissal, and several other breaches of her statutory and contractual employment rights. After extensive negotiations, an out of court settlement was reached on the morning of the Employment Tribunal hearing itself. Monica received compensation of £16,000 and a favourable reference. She was able to use this money to pay off the debts that she had incurred in order to provide for herself and her baby.