Claim of Discriminatory Dismissal During Probation Successful Despite Employee’s Unsatisfactory Performance

Published: 15 Mar 2023

The case of Sandra Varian v Zahra Publishing Limited ADJ-00036775 came before the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) recently. In this case the Complainant, Ms Varian, claimed that she was discriminated against and dismissed due to her gender and family status, in contravention of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2015 (the “Acts”). Zahra Publishing Limited (the “Respondent”) claimed that the Complainant was dismissed during her probationary period, due to poor performance.

Facts: The Complainant commenced employment with the Respondent on 1st July 2021 as Group Sales Manager. 

The Complainant claimed that on 8th May 2021 she telephoned the CEO of the Respondent to request information on the maternity benefits available to employees, explaining that she was undergoing IVF treatment. This was denied by the CEO who claimed that when, on 5th August 2021, the Complainant informed him she was pregnant and due to go on maternity leave in January 2022, he was surprised but happy for her. 


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Anne O'Connell

Firm: Anne O’Connell Solicitors
Country: Ireland

Practice Area: Labour and Employment

  • Fitzwilliam Hall,
    Fitzwilliam Place,
    Dublin 2

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