Scottish mother, 25, who claims she was sacked by boss at vape shop for falling pregnant wins £17,500 payout – as store plans to launch appeal
- Sintija Gaikniece was unexpectedly told she had not passed her probation at VPZ
A mother who claimed she was sacked from a vape store because she was pregnant has been awarded £17,500 in compensation.
Sintija Gaikniece, 25, alleges she was unexpectedly told she had not passed her probation at VPZ in Forfar, Scotland at the end of June last year while she was six months pregnant.
She says that she was given the shock news in a meeting with her boss, who she claims told her he had received complaints about her customer attitude without producing evidence.
Ms Gaikniece claims they ‘came up with a reason to fire me’ and says she discovered that her role was being advertised online days before she was fired, the Daily Record newspaper reports.
She has now won £17,500 in compensation, and her ex-employer has vowed to launch an appeal.
Sintija Gaikniece was unexpectedly told she had not passed her probation at VPZ in Forfar, Scotland at the end of June
She says she was informed in a meeting with her boss who said he had received complaints about her customer attitude but claims there was no evidence
Speaking to the Daily Record, she said: ‘I was so shocked. I was six months pregnant with a child on the way.
‘I don’t think they wanted someone gone for so long on maternity leave and to have to pay me while I was off. So I think they came up with a reason to fire me and they had a job advert ready to replace me.’
According to the Record, an employment tribunal backed her claim that the company had schemed to get rid of her and VPZ was ordered to pay compensation.
Ms Gaikniece started her job in January 2022 and around two weeks later found out she was pregnant, reports said.
She was reportedly told there would be discussions about maternity leave, but alleges that the conversation never happened.
Ms Gaikniece started her job in January 2022 and around two weeks later found out she was pregnant
VPZ said they respect the judgement of the tribunal but will be appealing the decision
After the company let her go on June 29, she said she signed on for Universal Credit and suffered anxiety.
She reportedly made a subject access request to VPZ for a copy of her personal information, including a probationary handbook with feedback from her managers to try and prove she had not received complaints – but VPZ allegedly did not hand it over.
Employment judge Sally Cowen ordered the firm to pay Sintija £17,583.06, including £4,000 of lost earnings, £300 of notice pay and thousands in compensation.
A spokesperson for VPZ described the company as the UK’s leading vaping retailer which employs 450 people in the country.
‘As one of the country’s fastest growing companies, we have developed an inclusive culture that enables all of our people to develop and thrive,’ they told MailOnline.
‘We are committed to equal opportunities and have a leading paternity and maternity policy that is providing benefits and flexibility to staff across our growing retail network.
‘We respect and will follow the judgement of the tribunal, however we are appealing the decision and due to ongoing legal proceedings we cannot comment any further on the case.’
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