BABY-DEATH MOTHER’S FIGHT
FOR EMPLOYMENT JUSTICE
When Gargi Bhattacharyya complained about how her employer treated her after the death of her baby, she didn’t expect to lose her job – but that’s what happened.
This week she is taking Aston University to employment tribunal for victimisation, sex discrimination and constructive dismissal.
Instead of sympathising with her situation, her employer began a campaign of character-assassination, designed to push her out of work.
When white colleagues said that they did not like or want to work with Professor Bhattacharyya, instead of tackling the harassment she experienced, the University created a new workplace policy which only applied to her in order to take action against her, whilst she was on maternity leave.
Professor Bhattacharyya said ‘I hope this case raises awareness of baby-death and helps us think about the rights of mothers who lose their babies. We don’t talk about what happens after a baby dies, but families have to carry on, and carrying on work is part of that. Employers have a responsibility to help that happen.’
Zita Holbourne, Co-Chair of BARAC UK said ‘It’s of great concern at a time when austerity and cuts are impacting disproportionately on Black women in the labour market, particularly the public sector, that Professor Bhattacharyya was victimised and forced out of her job, when her employer should have given her as much support as possible during what was a very difficult and sad period, mourning the death of her baby.’
A protest in support of bereaved mothers at work will take place 12pm to 2pm, Friday 2nd May, outside the Central London Employment Tribunal, 30-34 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6EX.
Contact: BARAC UK