Mum who was sacked by takeaway while pregnant tells of her fight for justice

PUBLISHED: 05:32 26 August 2020

Papa John's pizza takeaway on Plumstead Road in Norwich. Picture: Google

Papa John's pizza takeaway on Plumstead Road in Norwich. Picture: Google


A mother who was sacked from her job at a city pizza franchise while pregnant has told of how her fight for justice left her “an emotional wreck”.

Amie, whose surname we have chosen not to include, was 18 and pregnant with her son, when a Norwich branch of Papa John’s dismissed her from her post on January 1, 2017, having worked for the company since she was 15.

She has since spent three years fighting for justice which saw an employment tribunal rule that the franchise, Aftala Ltd, had discriminated against her on account of her pregnancy.

The franchisees were ordered to pay her more than £12,000 in damages and cover her legal fees as a result of the stress and hurt feelings caused.

However, despite it being more than two years after this ruling, she is yet to receive a penny from either the franchise or the multinational pizza branch itself.

She said her fight for justice has left her emotionally exhausted and desperate for closure.

Amie, who lives in Earlham, said: “By the time it reached the tribunal I was so worked up and stressed by it all and crumbled emotionally. My mental health certainly took a big hit.”

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Amie, now 22, said she constantly faced scrutiny over her description of the ordeal, but that the judge’s rulings had vindicated her - and has encouraged others not to be afraid to question how businesses are run.

She said: “Not everyone will try and fight like I have and ask questions, but if people don’t it can be allowed to just keep happening.

“It has reached the point where I never want to hear the name Papa John’s again, but it just keeps coming back to haunt me.”

Amie said she initially struggled to find work while she was pregnant but around a year after her son’s birth was able to find work in the same industry. She has since risen through the ranks to a managerial job in the fast food industry.

She was represented in her case by Norwich-based solicitors Gordon Dean, with partner Mr Dean taking on the case himself.

He said: “Papa John’s head office should have stepped in by now, at least to protect the brand name.”

A spokesman for Papa John’s said: “We can’t comment on individuals, but we of course require our franchisees to comply with all applicable laws and with all our standards, which are designed to ensure that we offer excellent employment opportunities all around the UK.”

Aftala Ltd have been approached for comment.

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