A city law firm hailed as experts on workers’ rights has been accused of unfairly dismissing a female employee while she was on maternity leave.
Dentons recruitment manager Bina Hale claims she was selected for redundancy because she was “easiest to get rid of” at the Midsummer Boulevard company.
A tribunal heard her fate was decided at a meeting of Dentons’ human resources bosses just days before she was due to return after having her baby.
The handwritten notes of this meeting were shredded due to the office becoming paperless.
Claiming sex discrimination as well as unfair dismissal, Ms Hale broke down into tears as she told the tribunal how she was allegedly treated by the global law company.
A huge global law firm, Dentons has 2,500 lawyers in 50 countries. The UK offices are in London and at The Pinnacle in Milton Keynes.
Dentons, however, deny they did anything wrong and say she was selected for redundancy due to a lack of professionalism.
The firm states employment law as one of its specialities and gives regular speeches on the subject at meetings of the local branch of the CIPD, which champions workers’ right.
They were speakers at a meeting in June before 150 people at Milton Keynes Conferencing Centre.
“It seems ironic that Dentons themselves are now being taken to an employment tribunal,” said one attendee.
The tribunal will not reach a conclusion for another two weeks.
It heard that Ms Hale, who is 36, started working for Dentons in 2014.
Senior partner at Andrew Harris, described her work as ‘brilliant’.
A spokesman for Dentons said: “We are vigorously defending this claim. Promoting diversity and inclusion within the workplace is something we take extremely seriously as a firm.”