By Lucy Caulkett-
The former owner of a closed firm has been ordered to pay almost £5,000 to a former receptionist after sacking her for contracting a pregnancy-related illness.
The Claimant, who was fired from Malik Law Chambers, made four complaints. She complained of unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and unlawful deduction of wages in respect of outstanding wages and
Employment Judge Jones, sitting at the East London tribunal, said Ms K. Nasreen was treated unfavourably because of her condition and was subject to a discriminatory dismissal.
The claimant’s claim was for unfair dismissal, discrimination and unlawful deduction of wages against Dr Akbar Ali Malik,(pictured above) CEO of the now defunct Malik Law Solicitors.The solicitors firm was shut by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in April 2018 for failing to comply with aspects of the SRA principles.
An “intervention”, as the SRA describes the forced closing down of a firm, means that it can no longer act for clients. All documents and money held by the firm are seized and returned to clients where they can be traced. There is a right of appeal to the High Court.
Mr. Malik shamefully absented himself from court and was not represented. The firm was intervened into by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in April 2018 as there was reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of the firm’s managers Malik and Imtiaz Ali Malik.
The tribunal heard that Nasreen had worked for four years at the firm before she suffered pregnancy-related illness in January 2018. Her four weeks absence was accompanied by medical support advising her not to return to work for the duration of her illness.
The medical certificates submitted by hand delivered were not responded to, instead, she was made redundant. She was eventually told that the holiday she took was unauthorised, ignoring the medical certificate confirming her illness.
The tribunal ruled her dismissal to have been unlawful. It found that Nasreen was entitled to her wages for January 2018, as well as outstanding holiday pay.
She was awarded a further two months’ pay, covering the time she would have worked at the firm before its intervention. The tribunal ordered Dr Malik pay a further £500 as remedy for injury to feelings.