BOSSES at a popular Bury tea rooms treated two young female employees unfairly after they announced they were pregnant, a tribunal has ruled.

Beth Gibson, a Saturday girl at Mrs Ogden's since June 2013 before becoming full-time, was pregnant when new owners Seven and Candice Burridge took over in October 2017.

An employment tribunal heard her colleague Kirsty Adams then informed the Burridges she was also pregnant in mid-February 2018.

Within days new rotas had been issued for the tea rooms by the owners, who were already known to be unhappy about cleaning standards there, the panel was told.

In a picture message, sent with a list of the new duties, Mrs Burridge included a note at the bottom reading: "They're in for a shock".

The young women each refused to accept the new rotas and were later sacked for 'insubordination' for failing to keep to the new timetables.

While there had been mix-ups over the new rota, Ms Gibson was in work on the day she was sacked. Ms Adams was on annual leave with the agreement of the owners.

Lawyers representing the Burridges insisted that they had sound business reasons for introducing the new rota, which was designed to improve staffing and efficiency on busier market days.

But while Employment Judge John Sherratt, sitting with two lay members, accepted this was demonstrably the case, he still decided their pregnancies was a determining factor in the dismissals.

Judge Sherratt said: "The evidence is that the notification of the changes to the rota came without any prior discussion or consultation shortly after Ms Adams gave the respondents notice of her pregnancy.

"The claimants considered that their treatment under the new rotas was unfavourable and would put them at a disadvantage because instead of working alternate Saturdays they would be expected to work every Saturday preventing them from spending alternate Saturdays with their partners making preparations for the new babies."

The judge also ruled that they had been unfairly dismissed as no meetings were staged to establish the facts relating to their dismissals, no effective warning letters had been issued by the Burridges and there was no proper disciplinary process.

The tribunal heard that Mrs Burridge had failed to properly engage with the members of staff after they had first raised concerns about the rotas.

Now a remedy hearing, to determine levels of compensation in light of the tribunal's findings, is scheduled to take place on January 24.