Morrisons worker who was 'gas-lighted' into full-time hours awarded £60k

A mother has been awarded £60,000 after her bosses ‘gas-lighted’ her into working full-time hours after her maternity leave despite being on a part-time contract.

Donna Patterson worked as a buyer in the Morrisons' supermarket online business in Bradford. During her maternity leave, her role was changed to fulfil the responsibilities of a full-time job, and on her return, she was pressured to work longer hours, beyond what was stipulated in her contract. Ms Patterson was told she could do the job in her allotted hours, with one of her managers telling her to "prioritise things a bit better and get your head in the right place and get your mindset right".

During this period, Ms Patterson’s mental health deteriorated, and she took sick leave due to stress. She raised a grievance with the company, but her concerns were rejected. Patterson resigned and took the case before the Employment Tribunal. She said she had been offered a new role in the business, but when she told bosses she was pregnant the job "disappeared". She also claimed Morrisons’ internal process "just totally failed me". The behaviour was described in the tribunal as ‘gas-lighting’. Employment Judge Jones ruled in Ms Patterson's favour saying she had been "unfavourably treated" and that Morrisons had subjected her to a "detriment of indirect sex discrimination after her maternity leave. The claimant was constructively dismissed, and the dismissal was unfair."

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.


to chat