I'm pregnant and have been labelled "emotional and hormonal" - Paul Doran Law

Belfast Office
12 Carnmoney Road
County Antrim BT36 6HN

Leeds Office
West One
114 Wellington Street
West Yorkshire

London Office
124 City Road
London EC1V 2NX

Newcastle Office
Gear House
Saltmeadows Road
Tyne and Wear NE8 3AH

Telephone: 0808 1687 288
Email: enquiries@pauldoranlaw.com

I’m pregnant and have been labelled “emotional and hormonal”

Pregnant emotional hormonalI’m pregnant and have been labelled “emotional and hormonal”.

You might have heard or read about the case of Nicola Hinds from Yorkshire, whose line managers labelled her “emotional” and “hormonal” during her pregnancy. She felt unsupported during her pregnancy, maternity leave and when she returned to work, so she resigned and made a claim for pregnancy discrimination and constructive dismissal.

She’s recently won her case at the Employment Tribunal and will receive compensation later.

In this article, you will find out what happened and what Nicola’s experience means to you.

What went wrong

Nicola was a senior manager at facilities management company, Mitie Group PLC, where she was on the operational side of the business for ten years.

In 2020, she became pregnant with her second child, 12 years after giving birth to her first.

Once she’d announced her pregnancy, she found that attitudes shifted towards her. Her line manager, Nav Kalley, made stereotypical comments, describing her in an email to a colleague as an “emotional and tearful” hormonal pregnant woman who should perhaps take unpaid leave.

She was working on a project that demanded more hours, but for which she had less experience. It was during the pandemic, and her workload became so huge that she didn’t know how to deal with it. She spoke to her line manager to arrange support, but nothing changed. In fact, she was encouraged to change to an admin role that would be “better suited to her changed circumstances”.

Nicola argues that her tearful feelings were not because she was pregnant, but because the work environment was different and she was an exhausted employee.  It was “hurtful” to be told she felt this way only because of her pregnancy.

She felt she lost her voice and confidence and that her pregnancy was being used against her.

For a fortnight, she suffered panic attacks that affected her own health and wellbeing, and the baby even stopped growing. As a result, her consultant recommended she start maternity leave early.

While Nicola was on maternity leave, she felt ignored by her employer, said the ‘keep in touch days’ were “useless”, and felt nervous about going back.

On her return to work, she found there had been changes to her pay and terms & conditions. She felt like “a huge inconvenience”, not supported, and that her employer was trying their hardest to make her feel uncomfortable.

She took extra sick leave and then constructively resigned in 2021.

What happened next

Nicola found a mentor who gave her the confidence to take her claim to the Employment Tribunal.

She represented herself, but said: “It wasn’t an easy task by any means”, and that it was a very long process that had its ups and downs. At times she felt like “a little person against a mighty company”, the system was against her, and she felt like giving up.

Although she has now won her case, she says it’s “sad” and “bittersweet” so there’s “no fist-pumping or jumping in the air” because it took such a long time just to get an acknowledgement that what she suffered was not OK.

She also said that she “hit the depths from a mental health point of view” but got herself out of the “pit of despair” thanks to the support of her family and friends.

Nicola urges all employers to ask themselves whether they have the right policies in place and the right leaders in place. Policies must be put into practice.

In the BBC interview mentioned below, Nicola concludes: “We’re not just employees who are numbers on a payroll, we give our lives to our employers. All we ask in return is a bit of respect and empathy.”

Nicola’s employer refuses to comment on individual legal cases.

What this means to you

When you’re classed as an employee or worker (and even if you’re self-employed in some cases), you are protected under the Equality Act 2010, no matter how long you’ve worked for the same company.

You are protected from the time you announce your pregnancy until:

Your employer must not discriminate against you because of:

In these circumstances, they must not:

If you do experience pregnancy discrimination, you could represent yourself at the Employment Tribunal like Nicola did. Or you could save yourself that stress by trusting experienced employment law solicitors to help you.

We deal with this kind of situation all the time, and have the expertise to make the experience much smoother and easier for you. It’s probably cheaper than you think, as the initial conversation is free, and in many situations your employer will have to cover our fees.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Read our case studies and testimonials to find out what clients say about us:

Further information about being “Pregnant, emotional and hormonal”

You can hear an interview with Nicola on the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour podcast, ref. m001y208. Listen from 2 to 16 minutes.

For more information, please see our related articles:

Need help?

We have already helped thousands of people to win millions of pounds in compensation.

See what they say >

You have a choice of ways to pay, including ‘no win, no fee’.

Browse funding options >

Back to all news

Share Article With:

Call us on
0808 1687288
or fill in this
Free Online Enquiry

(no cost or obligation)

We will only use the information you provide to handle your enquiry, and we will never share it with any third parties.

What Our Clients Say

I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and highly professional. Stephanie W

My experience has been a very professional one. The case ran smoothly from the get go. I was always kept in the loop. Dinah T

Up to date information. Easy to contact. Knowledgeable solicitor. No win without him. Audrey S

Very good. Always stayed within the timescales given. Sound advice, would recommend. Ken S

Efficient and helpful. Takes the claimant points into consideration. Angela R

Paul Doran Law has been extremely helpful and supportive in very difficult circumstances. I would highly recommend them as professionals to others and have a lot of faith in their advice. David R

Although a lengthy case I have been constantly updated throughout. Susan R

Paul answered me promptly, was very helpful and advised me what to do. Winifred P

Paul Doran was very helpful during my communication. Friendly and professional. Adrian M

Cormac is a very reassuring person, he made sure I was kept up to date as my case progressed and was always supportive when I got the jitters. He was very diligent and methodical whilst representing me. Iain M

Professional approach and positive attitude. Shirley M

Competent and efficient and very pleasant to deal with. Cloda McN

Cormac explained my options and talked me through each step and advised me of the best possible outcome. Gerard McL

Very helpful. Emma McA

Satisfied with service. Susan H

Very satisfied with the professional way case was handled. Evelyn H

Staff and solicitor very helpful at all times. Solicitor very knowledgeable and took my case and concerns seriously, and in a very professional manner. Deborah H

Friendly, efficient and very professional. Charlotte G

Very friendly and competent service. Peter G

My experience using Paul was very professional at all times. Kept me up to date at all times throughout the process. Blanche G

Very professional, friendly and efficient. Kept me informed throughout the process. Straight forward service which is exactly what I needed. Paula F

Good end result, Paul did a lot of work. Thank you. Lyn E

Felt at ease and was listened to; got excellent advice. Gemma D

Very professional and always willing to help and offer advice when needed on the situation. Lytreena D

Outstanding, friendly service from start to finish. Matthew C

Very professional and always left valued as a client. I feel that the company has worked very hard to get me a good result. Christine C

From day one there was a plan of action. I feel I was listened to and heard, after which the process was then easy. Kanta C

I would highly recommend. Karen B

Confident in representation. June B

Very happy with all aspects of my experience from initial contact to finish. Andrew B

Understanding and very prompt. Michelle W

Completely professional, and secured a settlement beyond my expectations. Cormac was exceptional – very many thanks. Joan W

Very happy with results. Very grateful for all Paul and his team have done for me. I feel valued as a client, my questions were always answered very quickly. Thank you. Anna V

Very good, professional. Amida S

Always responsive, courteous and supportive. Would recommend to friends and family without hesitation. David S

Easy and efficient and professional at all times. Stephanie R

Very good. Yusuf O

Excellent, efficient and prompt legal advice. Very satisfied with service provided. Lisa N

It took me a long time to find a solicitor who would support my case. I’m so glad I found Paul Doran Law who brought me success. Shirley N

I have had a very pleasant experience using Paul Doran Law and would definitely use again. Rebecca McM

The service was always informative, dignified and respectful. Chloe McL

I would definitely recommend. Colleen McB

Cormac was excellent from start to finish. I have already recommended him to friends and family. Sam M

Paul Doran Law were professional and very concerned about my feelings and what I had been through. I felt that they cared. Lisa M

Professional, helpful, very knowledgeable. Highly recommended. Bekki M

I found Cormac very compassionate and was always there as I had a lot of queries. Stephen McG

Impressed with accessibly, speed of response and professionalism. Edna L

Cormac was very professional and reassuring at all times. Kat K

Great, a good experience. Thank you. Mary K

Professional, efficient and friendly. Tabitha K

Very well treated throughout. I was always listened to and my questions answered. Allan H

I found Mr Rice to be professional, amiable and my overall experience was a positive one. Marcel G

I received valued information initially and came back later to receive a very satisfactory outcome. Lyn F

Put at ease very early on which helped me feel less stress. Harry D

I can’t thank you enough. I am so glad with the outcome and will recommend you. Christopher B

Cormac was great. Tom B

I would recommend Paul’s legal service as it is professional and thorough. Shelia H

This claim has been handled professionally and without delays. I am totally satisfied. Kelly L

Should the need arise I would definitely use Paul Doran’s services again. Suzie U

Any queries were answered quickly with detailed responses.  Sharon H

Everything was written very simply and in plain English which was good. Sylvia B

When time lines have been set, they have been met. I did not just feel like a case number. Karen S

When I emailed, Paul replied straight away.Very friendly and easy to talk to. Rita C

Paul was very thorough and helpful and successfully brought my case to an end. Margaret C

I feel strongly that Paul cares about clients. Pamela R

Paul was very reasonable and fair regarding the fees deducted from my claim offer I was awarded. Deborah McM

Very professional all the way through the process. Sharon C

I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and highly professional. Stephanie W

Well informed and easy to contact. I wouldn’t have won my case without him. Audrey S

Very good. Always stayed within the timescales given. Sound advice. Would recommend. Ken S

Efficient. Helpful. Take the clients points into consideration. Angela R

Paul Doran Law has been extremely helpful and supportive in very difficult circumstances. David R

Although a lengthy case, I have been constantly updated throughout. Jenny R

Professional and efficient service with helpful and friendly staff. Susan R

My case was handled professionally and my solicitor was very understanding and quick to respond. Eleanor P

Paul was very helpful and friendly. Adrian M

Cormac is a very reassuring person. He was very supportive when I got the jitters. Iain M

Kept going when it did not good and achieved a successful outcome. Shirley M

Competent, efficient and very pleasant to deal with. Cloda McN

Cormac deserves a salary for counselling alone! Lesley A

Cormac explained my options and talked me through each step and advised me of the best possible outcome. Gerard McL

They were quick to get things sorted. Emma McA

Very satisfied with the outcome to my case. Evelyn H

Solicitor very knowledgeable and took my case and concerns seriously in a very professional manner. Deborah H

Friendly, efficient and very professional. Charlotte G

I liked the personal touch. I received phone calls with updates instead of relying on letters all of the time. Sharon C

Very friendly and competent service. Peter G

Very professional. Kept me up to date at all times throughout the process. Blanche G

Straightforward service which is exactly what I needed. Paula F

Good end result. Paul did a lot of work. Lyn E

Very professional and always willing to help and offer advice when needed. Lytreena D

Very pleasant manner from staff and solicitors. Sara C

Outstanding. Friendly service from start to finish. Matthew C

I feel the company worked very hard to get the result. Christine C

From day one there was a plan of action. I feel I was listened to and heard after which to prove the case got easy. Kanta C

I would highly recommend. Karen B

Very good overall service. Judith B

Very happy with all aspects of my experience from initial contact to finish. Andrew B

Very professional, friendly and efficient. Kept me informed throughout the process. Paula F

Very professional. I always felt valued as a client Christine C

Paul was extremely professional and efficient Lesley A

Outstanding – friendly service from start to finish Matthew C

Paul Doran was very helpful during my communications, friendly & professional. Adrian M

I found right from the beginning Paul was very friendly and easy to ask questions at any time. Rita C

Paul is prompt, friendly and approachable. I liked how he was committed to my case and kept me informed. Judith P

I appreciate the thorough and expedient manner to which the task was completed. Barbara H

I feel Paul really cares about his clients and works to get the best outcome and justice for them.  Elaine S

My claim has been handled professionaly and without delays.  I am totally satisfied. Kelly L

Paul’s legal service is professional and thorough. Sharon H

I entrusted him with something that was very important to me and he did not let me down. Deborah McM

I was in contact with Paul on many occasions and all queries were dealt with personally and politely. Judith C

It has been a pleasure using Paul Doran Law. I would recommend him to friends and family. Sylvia B

Cormac was an absolute pleasure to work with – very polite, helpful, and thoughtful. Jessica D

Paul was polite and considerate and efficient. I would highly recommend this firm Geraldine A

I have been very impressed by the industry knowledge and the level of service provided. Nuala M

Quick, honest and responsive.

J Chambers

The service provided has been delivered beyond expectation.

K L Stokoe

Recommend without reservation.

J Taylor

If Paul had not taken on my case, I would not have received monies owed to me. E Shefford

I would recommend Paul’s legal service as it is professional and thorough. S Hall

View more testimonials

Why Choose Us?

  • We only work for employees
  • 25+ Years' Experience
  • No Win, No Fee available
  • Insurance to protect against Tribunal fees