A female manager at a City tech company has been awarded more than £12,000 in compensation after her job performance was downgraded because she took maternity leave. 

After Diana Ledkova returned to work in November 2019, she filed a discrimination case at an East London tribunal. Two months later, the Tribunal rated her as having “met all or most of our expectations” for 2019. 

The annual review she received was unjust, as she was rated as exceeding expectations in September 2018. This happened two months prior to her departure.   

Ms. Ledkova was dismayed that certain of her duties had been given to a male colleague. 

She was awarded £12,597.83 in compensation this week after a panel at the tribunal ruled she had been the victim of ‘unfavourable treatment’.

According to the tribunal, Ms. Ledkova joined City’s financial tech company Traiana in 2014 as a Project Manager.

Diana Ledkova (pictured) took a discrimination claim to an east London tribunal after she returned to work in November 2019 to find her job performance had been downgraded

Diana Ledkova, (pictured), brought a claim for discrimination to an East London tribunal following her November 2019 return to work to discover that her job performance had declined 

Ms Ledkova was also dismayed to find some of her duties had been handed to her male colleague Errol McKenzie (pictured ) without discussion and that she had been effectively 'demoted'

Ms. Ledkova also found it disconcerting to learn that some of her duties were handed to Errol McKenzie, her male colleague (pictured), without any discussion. She had effectively been ‘demoaned’

After four years, she was promoted to manage a project team with three people. She then took maternity leave in November 2018.  

In lieu of hiring cover, it was agreed that her line management responsibilities will be handled by an existing colleague. To assist them, Mrs Ledkova gave them a comprehensive handout document.

Traiana Limited, however, was acquired by American firm The CME Group the day after Ms Ledkova went on maternity leave.

An HR advisor informed her that she would continue to work in the Global Operations Division under new ownership, reporting directly to Mr Errol McKenzie.

Tribunal heard that plans regarding her team were being discussed while she was away without her consultation or input.

The plan didn’t record this, it was said. [Mrs Ledkova]Her team would be back under her management.

“There wasn’t any discussion regarding any changes. [Mrs Ledkova]She would be returning during this period in’s place.

Ms. Ledkova returned work in November 2019. She was awarded an annual performance evaluation two months later.

Her line manager appraised her as “meets most or all expectations” – which was a decrease from her prior rating of “exceeds expectations”. The tribunal heard.

Mrs Ledkova challenged her rating and requested that it be raised to match her prior appraisal.

Later in the month, she discovered that she had been reporting to her direct manager.

Tribunal was informed: “Ms Ledkova was disturbed by this and complained… [she]She believed that she had been ignored while she was on maternity leaves.

“(She) asked for her pre-maternity status to be reinstated in terms reporting to Mr McKenzie as well managing her team.

‘Whilst [her]Although her grade and salary were not affected, Mrs Ledkova could see that there had been a change in her operational status.

Mrs Ledkova had filed a grievance against her employer. However, she wasn’t satisfied with the outcome and demanded Mr McKenzie be fired.

She pursued employment tribunal claims despite being promoted to Team Manager in June 2020, which was the same role she held before her maternity leave.

Although her allegations of unlawful victimisation and sex discrimination failed, the Tribunal ruled that Traiana Limited discriminated against Mrs Ledkova “by her taking maternity leave”.

Ms Ledkova (pictured) has been awarded £12,597.83 in compensation after a panel at the tribunal ruled she had been the victim of 'unfavourable treatment'

Ms Ledkova (pictured) has been awarded £12,597.83 in compensation after a panel at the tribunal ruled she had been the victim of ‘unfavourable treatment’

The tribunal ruled that Mrs. Ledkova’s absence from work due to maternity had lowered her appraisal rating.

She was on maternity leave at the time of a performance review and was therefore not eligible for a performance rating.

‘[Mrs Ledkova]Before going on maternity leaves, she had finished her performance review.

‘[She]In January 2019, she did not get an appraisal for 2018-2019. It was her maternity leave that caused this.

Mrs. Ledkova couldn’t keep her record of exceeding expectations appraisals. Her 7-month work period for 2018 was also marked.

“This is unfavorable treatment, because she was taking maternity leave.

The decision to either remove or not return her entire team to her. [also]Because she was on maternity leaves, it was unfavorable treatment.

She was awarded £12,597.83 in compensation for injury to feelings and other costs.