Equality

European Court of Justice - May 1986 Excluding part-time employees from access to pension scheme was discriminatory Facts Weber was employed as a sales assistant. She initially worked full time, and then moved to part-time hours.   Bilka-Kaufhaus operated a pension scheme for employees. It was only open to those who worked part-time if they had also worked full-time for at least 15 years. As Weber had worked full-time for less than 15 years she was not entitled to join the pension…

Pay and benefits, Equality

European Court of Justice - May 2009 Operating different pension ages for men and women was unlawful Facts Barber was an employee of Guardian Royal Exchange and a member of its pension scheme. The scheme was non-contributory, with a normal pensionable age of 62 years for men and 57 years for women. If an employee was made redundant s/he would be entitled to an immediate pension income at the age of 55 years if a man and 50 years if a woman.   Barber was made redundant at the age of 52…

Family friendly and flexible working rights , Equality

Court of Justice of the European Union - July 1994 Dismissal of employee covering for maternity leave was direct discrimination Facts Webb was recruited as a replacement for another employee who was on maternity leave, but it was intended that she would be kept on permanently once the other employee returned to work. After two weeks in the job, she disclosed that she was pregnant. She was then dismissed. The case was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to…

Equality

Court of Justice of the European Union - December 1995 Enhanced overtime pay need not be paid to part-time employees until after they have worked full-time hours Facts The employer operated a policy in line with the terms of a collective agreement that payment for overtime hours worked by part-time employees would only be made at an enhanced rate after they had worked the equivalent of full-time hours.   A group of part-timers claimed that this policy was indirectly discriminatory on…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal - October 1996 Are employers responsible for discrimination by a third party? Facts In this case, two black female waitresses were working at a private function being held at the hotel where they were employed. Bernard Manning, a comedian (who was not employed by the hotel) was performing at the function, and during his after dinner act he made a number of highly offensive sexist and racist jokes. Some of these jokes were directed specifically at the two…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal - 1998 Employer liable for sexual harassment at work-related social event Facts Stubbs, a police officer, brought complaints of sexual harassment and sex discrimination to tribunal after she had experienced unwanted sexual attentions, malicious behaviour (when she made it clear the attentions were unwanted), sexually disparaging remarks, an unfairly poor appraisal and deliberate exclusion from an operation at the hands of her line manager. This type of conduct…

Equality

House of Lords - May 1988 Each element of pay package stands to be compared individually Facts Hayward was a cook employed in a shipyard. She took an equal pay claim, arguing that her work was of equal value to that of painters, installation engineers and joiners who worked on the same site.   Hayward's base pay and overtime rates were lower than those of the men she cited as comparators. However, she was entitled to free meals, and she had better sickness benefits and a better…

Equality

 Court of Appeal - 2000 Equal pay claim cannot be for higher pay than that of comparator Facts Evesham and a number of colleagues who were speech therapists had already succeeded in a claim for equal pay as against a male clinical psychologist.   However, she had been in her job six years longer than her male comparator and so had benefited from six years of annual increments to her salary. Her comparator on the other hand, was in his first year of employment and was therefore on the…

Equality

House of Lords - December 1998 Common terms and conditions can include terms that vary amongst themselves Facts Leverton worked as a nursery nurse and she brought an equal pay claim using clerical staff employed by the same local authority as her comparators. However, these clerical staff did not work at the same location as Leverton. Leverton argued that she could use them as comparators because she was working under the same national terms and conditions as the clerical workers (this…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal - February 1999 Is a claim for sexual harassment valid where the employee did not formally complain? Facts Stedman was employed as a secretary for a year, during which time she was subjected to sexually provocative remarks and suggestive behaviour by Reed, the company’s marketing manager. She found this behaviour upsetting and made it clear to Reed that she found it unacceptable, although she did not make any formal complaint. Stedman eventually resigned on…

Equality , Business principles

Employment Appeal Tribunal - May 1999 Failure to conduct a pregnancy risk assessment was direct sex discrimination   Day worked as a counter assistant in a sandwich shop. She became pregnant and became so nauseous that she was unable to continue at work.   When her employer ceased to pay her she claimed unfair constructive dismissal and sex discrimination. The employer had not carried out a risk assessment which she argued would have resulted in her being suspended from work on full pay…

Recruitment and selection, Equality

House of Lords Discriminator’s conscious motivation not a necessary ingredient of unlawful victimisation   Nagarajan had previously brought a number of race discrimination complaints against his employer, London Regional Transport (LRT) which had been largely unsuccessful. When he applied internally for a vacant post, he was rejected. One of the members of the interview panel had given him only one point out of 10 for articulateness and noted that he was "very anti-management". The only…

Employees and workers, Equality

European Court of Justice - February 2000 Refusal to appoint a pregnant woman to a post on health and safety grounds was direct sex discrimination Facts Mahlburg, who worked on a fixed-term contract as a nurse, applied for a permanent job in an operating theatre. She was in the early stages of pregnancy at the time.   Although Mahlburg had the necessary qualifications and experience to be appointed to the post, her application was rejected because German law prohibited pregnant women…

Equality

Court of Appeal - March 2000 No fair trial where hearing was not held in public Facts All employment tribunal cases are required to be held in public, unless there is a matter of national security or children are involved in the case.   Storer took a claim to the employment tribunal, and on the day that his case was due to be heard there were twelve tribunal rooms in operation. His case was listed as a "floater" - a case that would be heard when one of the tribunals became free to…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal - June 2000 Refusal of a request to work from home may amount to indirect sex discrimination Facts Lockwood, an account executive/technician, had taken maternity leave and when she returned to work, her mother undertook to care for the baby. When, however, her mother became ill, she was unable to continue with the childcare. Lockwood put forward various suggestions to her employer, one of which was to allow her to work at home, and she offered to purchase any…

Employees and workers, Equality

Court of Appeal - March 2001 Redundancy selection of fixed-term contract employees can be unlawful indirect sex discrimination Facts Whiffen was employed as a part-time school teacher of modern languages. For five years, she worked under a series of fixed-term contracts from one academic year to the next. When redundancies became necessary, the school governors followed a selection policy under which staff employed on fixed-term contracts would be dismissed first, in other words not…

Equality

European Court of Justice - June 2001 Being placed in the same job grade under a collective agreement does not necessarily mean that two jobs are the same or of equal value Facts When Brunnhofer and a male colleague joined the bank in Austria they were both employed in the same grade and paid the same basic salary as per an collective agreement. However, Brunnhofer’s colleague received an additional allowance. Brunnhofer was posted to the foreign department of the bank where it was…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal - September 2001 Denying promotion in same division as husband was marriage discrimination Facts Graham was an inspector in the Bedfordshire police force, and was married to a chief superintendent in the same force. Graham successfully applied for the role of area inspector (which was a promotion) in the same division that her husband commanded. The following month she was told that the appointment had been rescinded, because it was inappropriate for her to…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal - September 2001 Refusal of police officer’s request to work part time was not justified Facts Chew was a single mother with primary responsibility for the care of her two young children. She was employed as a police officer for the Avon and Somerset Police Force.   The police operated a rotating shift system. Although Chew had previously worked in a unit where hours were regular and night shift working was rare, she was required to move elsewhere after…

Employees and workers, Equality

European Court of Justice - October 2001 Dismissal because pregnancy prevented completion of fixed-term contract is sex discrimination Facts Brandt-Nielson was interviewed in June 1995 for employment on a six-month fixed-term contract which commenced on 1 July 1995. She received training during the first two months. In August she told her employer she was pregnant and that the baby was due in November. She was subsequently dismissed with effect from 30 September because she had not told…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal - December 2001 Adverse effects of condition not likely to become substantial Facts Mowat-Brown was a part-time music lecturer whose hours of work amounted to 55 per cent of a full-time contract of employment. When he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, his employer proposed to reduce this to a 20 per cent contract. He refused to accept this change and was subsequently dismissed. He brought claims to tribunal for disability discrimination and unfair…

Equality

Court of Session - February 2002 Employee can claim equal pay using comparator working for a different education authority Facts Morton was a (female) primary school head teacher employed by a local education authority in Scotland. She brought an equal pay claim citing as her comparator a more highly paid male head teacher of a secondary school employed by a different Scottish education authority. Statistically, most primary school teachers are female and most secondary school teachers…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal - May 2002 Claimant can name predecessor as comparator in equal pay claim Facts Kells was employed by Pilkington from 1972 until 1999 at which time she resigned. She brought an equal pay claim to an employment tribunal alleging that during the periods from 1989 to 1991 and from 1990 to 1993 she had been performing work of equal value to two male employees whose employment had ended more than six years earlier. She claimed that this anomaly constituted a…

Equality

Court of Appeal - May 2002 Untrue allegations of corruption based on prejudice can lead to large awards against individual responsible Facts Yeboah, a Ghanaianan and black, was the local authority's assistant chief executive of human resources. Crofton, who was white, was the council's director of housing. Yeboah had brought six complaints of race discrimination against the council and Crofton personally, five of which had been upheld by an employment tribunal. The evidence suggested…

Equality

European Court of Justice - September 2002 Employees cannot claim equal pay with comparators working for another organisation where no single source is responsible for their pay Facts Lawrence and others were employed by North Yorkshire County Council as catering assistants. They had already succeeded in equal pay claims as against refuse collectors and gardeners employed by the local authority. Their salaries were subsequently reduced in preparation for a tendering exercise that would…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal - October 2002 Claim fails for lack of evidence on how a comparator would have been treated Facts The claimant, a man of Iraqi origin, was employed as a researcher by an NHS trust, and joined the staff gym. He allowed his wife and child to use the gym, which was in breach of the rules, and was warned accordingly.   Following an investigation, the employer decided to withdraw Al-Shabib’s membership of the gym because of this breach of the rules. Al-Shabib…

Equality

European Court of Human Rights - October 2002 Excessive delays in dealing with complaints was a breach of the right to a fair trial Facts Somjee worked as a doctor for a hospital in Merseyside. She had brought claims against the hospital relating to unfair dismissal and race discrimination. There were a number of stages in hearing her complaints within the hospital, and there were a number of delays in the proceedings. The claims were reasonably complex, and the reasons for the delays…

Equality

House of Lords - June 2003 Real possibility of subconscious bias in EAT hearing Facts A Queens' Counsel representing one of the parties before the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) had previously sat as a part-time judge in the EAT along with one of the lay members who was on the EAT panel.   The question before the House of Lords was whether this was compatible with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to a fair trial), and the common law test of bias.  …

Equality

Court of Appeal - October 2003 Failure to deal adequately with complaint of racial harassment Facts Reid, a man of Afro-Caribbean descent, was an employee of British Telecommunications (BT) and had recently been promoted and transferred to a division at St Albans. Tensions arose there between him and two colleagues (Edwards and Scott), leading to several acrimonious disputes. One day there was a heated argument during which Edwards prodded Reid and said in a threatening manner “I will…

Equality

Employment Tribunal - 2004 Timing of shifts can discriminate against female employees Facts Green, a single parent with a five-year old daughter, worked as a security officer at Glaxo SmithKline. She had to work shifts. The times of these were changed to accommodate new requirements and the changes meant that on the alternate weeks when her shift finished at 3.00pm, Green had problems collecting her daughter from school at 3.15pm. This caused her distress and she went on sick leave.…