Young pregnant woman 'literally bullied onto the street'

A YOUNG pregnant woman was literally bullied onto the street by her Londonderry employer, a local MLA has claimed.

Waterside-based SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey claimed the young woman - a foreign national - was "literally bullied onto the street by her employer and has nowhere to go."

The Sentinel understands the woman was employed by a company in the Waterside and that industrial dispute resolution negotiations are currently ongoing. She cannot be named for legal reasons.

Mr Ramsey made the remarks during a meeting of the Stormont Employment and Learning Committee recently.

The committee was considering a briefing from the Law Centre (NI) on proposed changes to the Workplace Disputes Resolution Procedure. Referring to the young woman's predicament Mr Ramsey told representatives of the Law Centre that an independent one-stop shop for workers involved in disputes was badly needed.

He commented: "It would be good to see how other models work and whether there is a better system. At the moment, there are increasing numbers of people, employees and migrant workers specifically, who are vulnerable and marginalised. I am interested, therefore, in hearing about how the one-stop-shop model might be taken forward to ensure that people have maximum representation."

And speaking to the Sentinel Mr Ramsey said the problem of "constructive dismissal" was being used on an increasing basis against foreign nationals especially.

"This young woman found herself in a position where she had her hours cut continually to the point where she felt she couldn't go on," said Mr Ramsey.

The Londonderry SDLP MLA said an enhanced advice and support service is needed to be put in place to help

the vulnerable.