Discrimination

Victimisation and what amounts to a protected act

Continuing with tribunal proceedings is as much a protected act as bringing proceedings in the first place.

Disability discrimination and the side effects of treatment

The Equality Act 2010 excludes an impairment of vision where ‘in the person's case, correctable by spectacles or contact lenses or in such other ways as may be prescribed’. ‘Correctable’ is a practical question which must consider not only whether the impairment was corrected but whether there are unacceptable adverse consequences.

Knowledge of disability and date of acquisition

Knowledge of an employee’s disability could have been acquired during an appeal against dismissal.

Sexual orientation and constructive dismissal

The adverse treatment of a gay head teacher amounted to constructive dismissal and sexual orientation discrimination.

Email to inaccessible work address during maternity leave could be unfavourable treatment

Sending an important letter about redundancies to a woman on maternity leave to a work email account which she could not access could be unfavourable treatment under the Equality Act. But whether it was also maternity discrimination depends upon the reasons why that treatment occurred.

What is 'long term' for disability purposes?

EAT clarifies how to interpret ‘long term’ for the purpose of the definition of disability.

Dismissal for 'cohabitation outside marriage' was not religious discrimination

The dismissal of a teacher at an ultra-orthodox Jewish nursery who refused to lie about living with her boyfriend was not discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.

Equal pay and comparability of pay terms

For the purposes of equal pay law, two distinct parts of a workforce (here female shop floor workers and higher-paid male distribution centre workers) can compare their pay, even if they are located at different sites, in different parts of the organisation/group, and with very different pay arrangements/management structures.

Disability discrimination and ill-health retirement

A disabled employee who had reduced his hours from full time to part time before taking ill-health retirement had not been treated ‘unfavourably’ when an element of his pension benefits was calculated by reference to his part-time salary at the date of retirement.

Equal pay: 'stable working relationship' not necessarily broken by promotion

A promotion or change in role within the same organisation will not necessarily amount to a ‘radical’, ‘fundamental’ or ‘significant’ change so as to break a ‘stable working relationship’ for the purposes of calculating time limits for an equal pay claim.

Part-time workers, less favourable treatment and justification

The requirement for a part-time worker to be available for work on proportionately more days than a full-time worker was less favourable treatment. In deciding whether such treatment is legally justified, tribunals should consider statistical evidence.

Bakers did not discriminate against gay man

A bakery did not discriminate against a gay man on the grounds of his sexual orientation or political belief when it refused to supply a cake with a message on it supporting gay marriage.

Ill-health retirement and disability discrimination

A flawed ill-health retirement process will not, by itself, amount to direct disability discrimination or discrimination arising from disability.

Test for 'bad faith' in victimisation claim is honesty not motivation

An employee will be protected from victimisation if they wrongly but honestly believed the allegations they made to be true, even if they had an ulterior motive for making those allegations.

Extending sick pay for a disabled employee

Taking a flexible and individualised approach to reducing sick pay for a disabled employee will help employers make out a justification defence to a disability discrimination claim.

Sanctity of copyright was not a protected philosophical belief

An employer did not discriminate when it dismissed an employee who refused to sign a copyright agreement because she held a ‘philosophical belief’ that she should own the rights to her work.

Disciplining for 60 days' sickness absence was disability discrimination

A disabled employee who was disciplined for 60 days’ absence over a 12-month period was discriminated against because her absence arose from her disability and her employer had failed to establish that its action was a proportionate response to her absence.

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