Equality

17 May 2022 Summary An employment tribunal has found that a police officer was the victim of harassment and victimisation, related to his disability, following a number of issues which included (but was out of time to be considered by the ET) being called ‘Dolly Parton’ for his 9 – 5 working patter. Law Equality Act 2010 Section 26 (harassment): (1) A person (A) harasses another (B) if— (a) A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and (b) the…

Equality

11 May 2022 Summary An employment tribunal has concluded that calling an employee “bald” amounts to unlawful harassment. LAW Equality Act 2010 Section 26: A person (A) harasses another (B) if— A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and the conduct has the purpose or effect of— violating B's dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B. Two tests need to be met for the conduct to amount to…

Equality , Termination

10 May 2022 Summary An employment tribunal has upheld a claim for indirect sex discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal brought by a working mother, who had been required by her manager to start working weekend shifts, despite her lack of access to childcare at the weekend. Law Section 19 Equality Act 2010 (EqA) Indirect discrimination – (1)A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if A applies to B a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to a…

Equality

Summary An employment tribunal has held that an employer failed to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee, whom they also discriminated against and victimised, after they asked for their specially adapted seat and desk not be used by others and was disciplined for doing so. Law Equality Act 2010 Section 39(2)(c)&(d): an employer must not discriminate against an employee by dismissing him or subjecting him to a detriment. Section 13 (1) - Direct discrimination: (1) A person…

Equality

13 April 2022 Summary In this case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) had to consider the comparison pool to be used in indirect discrimination claims and whether or not a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) to work late Thursday shifts disadvantaged the claimant as a woman. Law Section 19 of the Equality Act 2010 prohibits indirect discrimination: (1) A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if A applies to B a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in…

Equality

20 April 2022 SUMMARY The employment tribunal recently found that an employee who returned to work from maternity leave on a part-time basis after having triplets was subject to sex discrimination, a failure to pay equal pay, and less favourable treatment compared to a full-time equivalent male worker. LAW Equality Act 2010 Section 13 (1) A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably that A treats or would treat others…

Equality

17 March 2022 Summary Specific legal protection applies to those who are pregnant, new mothers and those who have suffered a miscarriage (two weeks after the miscarriage). The Employment Tribunal (ET) in this case had to assess a matter of potential sex discrimination associated with miscarriage, outside of the protected period. Law Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010 provides: Direct Discrimination (1)    A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected…

Equality , Termination

4 January 2022 Summary An Employment Tribunal has found that an older employee with dementia was constructively dismissed, discriminated against, and humiliated because of her condition, when she was repeatedly asked if she wanted to retire and not offered an occupational health referral prior to her return to work after shielding. Law Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 95(1) An employee is dismissed by his employer if the employee terminates the contract under which he is employed (…

Equality , Discipline and grievance , Termination

1 December 2021 Summary In this decision on unfair dismissal and discrimination, the Employment Tribunal (ET) had to consider if an academic, who claimed her race and sex lead to inherent characteristics of being naturally loud and argumentative, and her body language demonstrative, was unfairly dismissed and discriminated against for the way she dealt with PHD students. Law Section 98 Employment Rights Act 1998 provides: (1) In determining for the purposes of this Part whether the…

Equality , Business principles

18 January 2022 Summary In this decision on unfair dismissal, the Employment Tribunal (ET) had to consider if a contractual vaccination requirement was reasonable, and if a dismissal as a result of it was fair. It also had to consider the position when religious beliefs were asserted in connection with vaccine refusal. Law Section 98 Employment Rights Act 1998 provides: (1) In determining for the purposes of this Part whether the dismissal of an employee is fair or unfair, it is for the…

Equality

7 October 2019 Summary In this decision on discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, the Employment Tribunal (ET) had to consider if a doctor was discriminated against for refusing to address transgender patients by their chosen pronoun whilst performing their role carrying out health assessments. Law The Equality Act 2010: Section 10 (1) Religion means any religion and a reference to religion includes a reference to a lack of religion. (2) Belief means any religious or…

Equality

22 December 2021 Summary In this decision on protected beliefs under the Equality Act 2010, the Employment Tribunal (ET) was asked to decide if a fear of catching Covid was sufficiently held to be protected under the legislation, and if a decision to withhold pay for refusal to return to the office due to this belief was an act of unlawful discrimination. Law Section 10(2) Equality Act 2010 (2) Belief means any religious or philosophical belief and a reference to belief includes a…

Equality

1 December 2021 Summary In this decision on race discrimination, the Employment Tribunal (ET) had to consider whether or not a black employee had been treated differently to a hypothetical white employee. Whilst no evidence of malice was found, it was felt by the court that unconscious bias had impacted on the decision making of the all-white panel involved in her disciplinary process.   As an ET decision, this is not binding authority. However, it is reflective of the direction the courts…

Equality

16 November 2021 Summary The Court of Appeal (CoA) has confirmed that in order for a condition to be a disability, there must be a long term and lasting effect upon the individuals day-to-day life, and that is not necessarily the case if it is managed and later flares up again.  Law Section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA) A person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial long-term adverse effect on their ability to conduct day-to-day activities.…

Equality , Termination

19 October 2021  Summary The EAT found that the Employment Tribunal had erred in striking out claims of sex and disability discrimination due to the menopause. The tribunal did not explain why the claimant’s condition did not amount to a disability and stated that there was insufficient evidence of sex discrimination for the claim to proceed, without providing any reasonable explanation for this decision. The claim has been remitted back to ET for fresh consideration of the issues. Law The…

Equality , Termination

19 October 2021 Summary The EAT held that a compulsory retirement age can be lawful, in limited circumstances. In these two cases, separate to each other but linked by the effects of the same policy, the employer argued that a compulsory retirement age of 68 was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. Law The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of age under sections (5) and (13), unless it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim (section 13…

Equality

1 April 2021 An employment tribunal has decided, for the first time, that indirect discrimination can occur even when the employee to whom the provision, criterion or practice has been applied does not have the relevant characteristic, where their associates does and this has the result of disadvantaging the employee. Under the Equality Act 2010, section 19, (1), indirect discrimination is defined as:  “A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if A applies to B a provision, criterion…

Equality , Termination

29 July 2021 Summary The Employment Tribunal (ET) has dismissed a series of claims concerning discrimination, unfair and wrongful dismissal, harassment, and more, in order to avoid encouraging ‘a culture of hyper-sensitivity’. Facts The claimant worked as a lawyer for PSI CRO UK, the respondent. She was offered a role at the company’s branch in Switzerland but was told that her age “will prevent [her] from commanding a higher salary”. Due to unrelated personal reasons, she declined the…

Equality , Discipline and grievance

14 October 2020 Summary The Employment Tribunal (ET) has held that an employee was not directly discriminated against on the grounds of religion or harassed by her employer. Law ‘Religion’ means any religion, or a lack of religion, and ‘belief’ means any religious or philosophical belief or a lack of belief. For ‘religion’ to be protected, it must have a clear structure and belief system. ‘Religious belief’ goes beyond beliefs about and adherence to a religion or its central articles of…

Equality

23 July 2021 Summary The Supreme Court has affirmed the Court of Appeal’s decision in finding that claimants must provide evidence to the tribunal in discrimination claims. Law The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against unlawful direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation for the protected characteristic of 'race'. Employers are liable for acts of discrimination, harassment and victimisation carried out by their employees ‘in the course of employment’, whether…

Equality , Managing absence and capability , Termination

2 July 2021 Summary The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has decided that the Employment Tribunal had erred in law by relying on irrelevant medical records in a disability discrimination claim, and for not considering the claimant's challenge to the respondent’s justification defence. Law The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation for the protected characteristic of disability. The core definition of ‘disability’ is a physical or…

Equality , Managing absence and capability , Termination

29 January 2021 Summary The Employment Tribunal (ET) has decided that an NHS receptionist, who was dismissed after telling her employer that she was scared to work in a public-facing role, was unfairly dismissed. Law To avoid a claim for unfair dismissal an employer must have: a potentially fair reason to dismiss acted reasonably in treating this reason as sufficient to justify dismissal followed a fair procedure. In order to bring an unfair dismissal claim the employee must show that…

Equality , Termination

22 June 2021  Summary An employment appeal tribunal (EAT) has upheld a claim of indirect sex discrimination because the employer had not considered the employee’s childcaring responsibilities. Law The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against unlawful direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimisation for the protected characteristic of ‘sex’. Indirect sex discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) is applied universally and that PCP: puts, or…

Equality

21 May 2021 An employment tribunal (ET) has held that a pregnant woman was not discriminated against by her employer after she was sent home during the coronavirus pandemic for health and safety reasons. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination and victimisation relating to the protected characteristic of ‘pregnancy and maternity’. Discrimination will occur under section 18 of the 2010 Act when an individual is treated unfavourably during the protected period because: of her pregnancy…

Equality

The Supreme Court has upheld a previous Court of Appeal decision that retail workers can compare pay terms for the purposes of an equal pay claim to distribution workers, due to common terms applying at the establishments. The right of men and women to receive equal pay for equal work is contained in the Equality Act 2010. In order to bring a claim for equal pay, the claimant must identify comparators of the opposite sex that are conducting equal work to them but are being paid more for doing…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld the Employment Tribunal’s (ET) decision in finding that an organisation did not go far enough in preventing racial harassment and was thus liable for the harassment faced by the claimant. The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against unlawful direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation for all protected characteristics. The focus of this case is race. Harassment is unlawful where a person is subjected to unwanted conduct…

Equality , Discipline and grievance

The EAT has dismissed a victimisation claim, ruling that wording used by the claimant in a grievance was not sufficient to amount to a ‘protected act’. As she was an experienced in HR, her wording called into question whether she believed she was discriminated against at the time.    The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against unlawful direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation for the protected characteristic of ‘sex’. Victimisation occurs where an employer…

Family friendly and flexible working rights , Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered whether a policy that removed contracted rest days due to the taking of parental leave was indirectly discriminatory against women. Employees who qualify have a right to take up to 18 weeks' unpaid parental leave in total for the purposes of caring for a child, which is usually limited to four weeks per year. This applies equally to both male and female workers. Under the Equality Act 2010, Indirect sex discrimination occurs when a provision…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered whether a tribunal erred by permitting evidence to be admitted into proceedings that was not included on the ET3 form.    Under the Equality Act 2010, direct race discrimination occurs where a person is treated, or would be treated, less favourably ‘because of’ race compared with others in like-for-like circumstances. In bringing a claim, the claimant needs to demonstrate that they have been subjected to unfavourable treatment. Once this is…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld a ruling that a pregnant police officer was discriminated against due to a policy that instructed pregnant officers to be transferred to a desk-based role. In situations where an employee notifies the organisation that they are pregnant, a risk assessment may deem it necessary to temporarily alter their usual duties or role in order to keep them safe during their pregnancy. This needs to be approached carefully by organisations in order to avoid…