12 August 2021
Equity sends a wholehearted message of congratulations to our member Antonia Kinlay, who has gained a landmark legal ruling in her pregnancy discrimination case, and been awarded £11,000 by an Employment Tribunal (ET).
We also congratulate ERA 50:50 who led on this case, and with whom Equity provided financial assistance to gain legal advice and representation for Antonia.
Antonia had originally appeared in the 2018 adaption of the Cormoran Strike novel Career of Evil, and was expected to be cast in the follow-on production. This offer was withdrawn when Antonia disclosed her subsequent pregnancy. The production company behind the TV adaptations, Bronte Film and TV, refused to consider any practical or technical adaption to conceal Antonia’s pregnancy, claiming the costs would amount to £25,000.
In a damning indictment of the production company, the Tribunal commented that it would have been possible to easily conceal Antonia’s pregnancy "through the use of costume, camera angle, props, the positioning of other actors and make-up if appropriate".
Paul Fleming, General Secretary of Equity said: 'Equity has supported ERA 50:50 on the progress of this case, and we’re proud of its unequivocal outcome. In particular, we applaud Antonia’s bravery not just in taking the case but seeing it through to court, ensuring that other pregnant artists have a clear case study in their rights. We hope this will send ripples through the industry that you cannot discriminate against those who are pregnant or deny their right to work. This is another step in Equity’s ongoing work with ERA 50:50 on raising awareness and fighting for the rights of women at every stage of their working life.’
Commenting on the case ERA 50:50 said: ‘Our hope is this ruling will drive forward positive change and remind both actresses and the industry of their legal rights and responsibilities. We applaud Ms Kinlay for her strength in coming forward and our lawyers Joelson for supporting us in this endeavour. We would welcome statements from production companies that commit to ensuring they will audition all women suitable for a role whether pregnant or not and continue with her contract if she subsequently becomes pregnant.’
A detailed outline of Antonia’s case is available on the ERA 50:50 website.