Oster Milambo asked his employers at the at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council for maternity leave six weeks before his son was born in the summer of 2013. However after returning to work his bosses told him he had broken the policy of giving 15 weeks notice for his leave and would face disciplinary action, even though they were the ones who had signed off his leave. Mr Milambo resigned from his position shortly afterwards and launched legal proceedings against the borough council, claiming it had created a hostile working environment for him leading to his unfair dismissal. In the employment tribunal that took place today Kwaku Antwi-Boasiako, representing Mr Milambo, claimed that because the length of notice was not stipulated in his contract and the fact his bosses had granted the paternity leave despite the lack of notice, meant his client was protected by employment law.
He said: ‘This paternity leave was granted as a paternity leave and granted within the provision of the employee’s contract. ‘He did not have to give the respondent 15 weeks notice.’ Judge Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto, while expressing sympathy for Mr Milambo’s claim, threw out his appeal less than 24 hours after Labour leader Ed Miliband announced plans to double paternity leave if his party wins the General Election in May. He said: ‘The claimant brought complaints of unfair dismissal.’ ‘The unfair dismissal was that he had been subjected to a detriment on the grounds that he had taken paternity leave.’ However he added ‘that what the provision is doing is providing protection for the enjoyment of the statutory right’. ‘I am persuaded that the claimant’s submission, although attractive in terms of meeting what might appear to be the purpose of the regulation, are in fact incorrect. The claimant’s application is refused,’ he concluded.