Pregnant wife wins £15,000 after husband sacks her over adult film argument

A woman pregnant with her fourth child was dismissed from her job after finding her husband had spent more than £500 on adult entertainment in just one day, a tribunal heard

The woman worked for lawncare firm Root2Shoot, based in Essex

A pregnant woman who was fired by her husband after finding out about his online porn spending has won £15,000 at an employment tribunal.

Then woman, Nicole Ramsay, worked as an admin manager for Essex lawncare firm Root2Shoot, run by her husband Stephen Ramsay.

But the relationship unravelled when, at 31 weeks pregnant with her fourth child, she found three receipts on September 18 2019.

Each was for £179.99, and had been spent on ‘online adult entertainment services’ within 23 hours, the East London tribunal heard.

The next day she woke up to text messages and WhatsApp messages on her phone from him telling her not to come into work as she was not needed.

“These messages were full of abuse”, the tribunal heard.

The messages said things like: “You are not needed, not like you did anything anyway,…….Why are you still working. I don’t want you having anything to do with it anymore……

The tribunal was heard at East London Hearing Centre over video link

“I would rather fold my business than give you anything from them…..After everything you have done over the past couple of years you don’t deserve anything and if you try I will make sure I have nothing to give you.”

Stephen also cancelled her fuel card and phone contract, both of which he funded, the tribunal heard.

Stephen also took her house and work keys, though the house key was eventually returned.

He moved out of the family home on September 25.

The pair both worked at Root2Shoot until the incident

On September 26 her job was ended “without her knowledge or consent”, the tribunal heard.

On October 19, Nicole started getting a divorce.

Payslips she needed to get Universal Credit were withheld for months, she claimed.

Stephen did keep paying Nicole during her maternity leave, for 12 months until November 2020. However, this was at a lower salary than before.

“We found that instead of continuing to pay the claimant at the rate of £1,500 net per month from October 2019 to the end of October 2020, the Respondent made unlawful deductions from her wages,” the tribunal found.

In November 2020 Nicole left Root2Shoot and started a new job as a financial consultant.

A tribunal awarded Nicole £10,568 for unauthorised deductions from wages.

“Had the claimant continued in employment,she would have been on maternity leave during this period and as with the earlier period of maternity leave with her third child, the respondent would have continued to pay her £1500 per month net,” the tribunal said.

“As a consequence, we found that the claimant is owed £10,568.00 net in respect of unlawful deduction from her wages by the respondent and it is ordered to pay her this amount.”

The tribunal also awarded Nicole £5,000 compensation for injury to feelings.

However, her other claims of victimisation and pregnancy discrimination were dismissed at the tribunal late last month.

Root2Shoot has been approached for comment.

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