Halesowen tribunal winner left out of pocket

Halesowen News: Charlotte Ball Charlotte Ball

A MOTHER who won almost £15,000 damages from a Cradley Heath dental laboratory after she was made redundant while on maternity leave fears she will never be paid out.

Charlotte Ball, from Halesowen, took her former boss Christopher Wright’s companies E-Bright Ltd and SDL Ltd to an employment tribunal a year ago and won her claim.

But her elation turned to despair when the denture maker refused to pay. E-Bright Ltd has gone into liquidation and enforcement officers have told her they cannot find any assets belonging to SDL Ltd.

Although the company is continuing to trade, Mr Wright handed a High Court Enforcement agent a lease agreement which showed the High Street premises and all property inside belonged to the landlord Balbir Singh Bhandal, of Midlands-wide Bhandal Dental Practices.

A £51 payment was made by Mr Wright with the offer of £50 a month, but 27-year-old Miss Ball, who has been on income support since losing her job, slammed the offer as “derisory”.

The former dental technician said: “At that rate it will take him 25 years to pay what he owes me.

“He’s running a successful business, making a living from it, paying wages and other overheads, yet it seems, although the law is on my side, nothing can be done to make him pay. How is that fair?

In a letter to Miss Ball, of Beecher Road East, the HCE said: “Our agent believes there is little he can do by way of enforcement as there are no assets.”

She has been asked whether she wants to accept the £50 a month offer and is awaiting advice from the HCE after questioning whether further action is possible.

Miss Ball, who has two children, aged two and three months, was made redundant six months into her maternity leave with her first child, leaving her owed £1,600 for the final three months.

She won her claim of sex discrimination, breach of contract, unfair dismissal, discrimination on maternity grounds, unpaid earnings and statutory redundancy payment.

Miss Ball added: “The pain and anguish of going to the tribunal was all for nothing. I won my case, but I am still out of pocket.”

Mr Wright refused to comment and a spokesman for Bhandal Dental Practices also declined to comment.

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