Current Affairs

UK: Mother tells employment tribunal of her depression after her husband came out as gay

James Park January 5, 2013
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A mother-of-two told an employment tribunal that she became depressed and had to stop working after her husband of twelve years told her was gay and brought his boyfriend to the family home.

Olga Gofmane was recounting her pain to an employment tribunal in Reading after suing her former employer Holland and Barrett over the payment of sick pay during her depression.

After learning that her husband was gay, Mrs Gofmane went into a depression and was signed off work by her doctor. But she received wages of just £1.50 after the company deducted sick pay.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Mrs Gofmane, who moved to the UK from Latvia with her then husband, told an employment tribunal: “I was left with two children because my ex-husband told me he is gay. I had to go through this alone because in the country I come from, it is socially unacceptable.

“I had to move house because he was bringing his boyfriend to the house.”

After she was signed off work, she said that she was “initially paid correctly for my sick leave” but added “the next payment I received … my company sick pay was reclaimed … the net effect was payment to me of £1.50.”

Holland & Barrett later paid the money but the tribunal has ruled that its actions were in breach of contract. However, a further claim for disability discrimination on the grounds of mental health was rejected.

Related topics: coming out, depression, divorce, Employment, England, ex-husband, gay husband

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