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Tennis coach loses sex discrimination compensation claim
7:20am Tuesday 1st May 2012 in News
A KIDDERMINSTER professional tennis coach who was a 10 times county champion has lost a compensation claim for sex discrimination against the Bewdley club after alleging she was not well treated following maternity leave.
Miss Tracey Powell of Highlands Close,Kidderminster, who was once ranked 16 in the UK as a junior, accused Bewdley Tennis Club, at a previous Birmingham Employment Tribunal of unfairly terminating her contract as the club’s head coach.
Miss Powell who was a 10 times Hereford and Worcester County champion was with the Bewdley club for eight years, coaching juniors and adults, and had previously been with Bromsgrove Tennis Club.
She complained she was made to feel uncomfortable after returning to the club following maternity leave and eventually lost her position on a self-employed basis.
She had previously complained that she had been unfairly blamed when problems arose.
The club opposed the sex discrimination claim.
Mr Tim Merrison, a Bewdley club committee member, told the tribunal at the previous hearing that there had been concerns about Miss Powell’s work and that she did not always turn up for coaching.
The tribunal was told about a “serious “club meeting which turned out to be not what Miss Powell had expected and which left her upset.
She said she believed the meeting was to discuss the coaching programme.
Mr Merrison agreed the meeting had been an uncomfortable one.
The hearing had been listed for several days and tribunal judge Mr David Perry said a decision would be made at a later date.
Now Mr Perry has announced that Miss Powell’s compensation claim for sex discrimination was not well founded and her claim has been rejected.
Mr Powell said:”It was common ground that the claimant was issued with a new agreement annually and that on these occasions there were some changes made to the contract.The claimant was self employed and there was no provision for payment of sick pay or maternity pay.
“It was also common ground that at the time when the claimant became pregnant, the terms of the agreement were altered such that she was to be paid £25 per hour per coach in respect of group coaching sessions at the club and would be responsible for paying any coaches who undertook that coaching work.”
Miss Powell is now coaching at the Far Forest Tennis Club and plays nationally as a veteran at age 35-and-over.