A businessman who sacked his pregnant wife after she found his receipts for ‘adult entertainment’ has been ordered to pay her more than £15,000 by an employment tribunal.
Stephen Ramsay, 40, was confronted by 33-year-old wife Nicole, who he employed as his admin manager and company secretary, when she discovered he had spent £500 on X-rated online sexual services.
The couple agreed to separate afterwards, but the following day Mrs Ramsay who was 31 weeks pregnant with their fourth child woke to find her husband had taken her house key and sent messages ‘full of abuse’ to her.
One message read: ‘You are not needed, not like you did anything anyway… Why are you still working. I would rather fold my business than give you anything from them.’
She was then sacked from work. Mrs Ramsay took her case to an employment tribunal in east London.
The tribunal heard Mrs Ramsay started working for her husband’s lawncare business in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, in August 2015.
However, her fuel card and work phone were cut off after she quizzed him over the three receipts in September 2019.
She carried on answering phone calls to the business in a professional manner but was later sent more ‘aggressive and inappropriate’ messages from Mr Ramsay about the breakdown of the marriage.
After asking his wife when she would be starting her maternity leave, the tribunal heard Mr Ramsay told his wife: ‘You can find a new job to start at the end of your leave.’
The tribunal heard the stress of the situation coupled with the late stage of her pregnancy caused her to have medical issues.
Mr Ramsay continued to pay her during her maternity leave but reduced her monthly salary from £1,500 to £1,250.
The tribunal heard further deductions were made until the end of her maternity leave, totalling more than £10,000.
The tribunal has now awarded Mrs Ramsay £10,568 for unauthorised deductions from wages and £5,000 in compensation for ‘injury to feelings’ in respect of her direct marriage discrimination claim.