An employee who cared for her disabled mother was indirectly discriminated against on the grounds of disability, despite not having a disability herself.
It was not a reasonable adjustment to continue to pay an employee their previous higher rate of pay after being moved to a lower-paid role because of their disability.
The burden of proof remains on a claimant in a discrimination case to prove, on the balance of probabilities, facts from which (absent any other explanation) a tribunal could infer that an unlawful act of discrimination had taken place. The change in wording to the balance of proof provisions in the Equality Act 2010 did not introduce a substantive change to the law.
A ban on workers wearing any visible sign of political, philosophical or religious belief in the workplace does not amount to direct discrimination under EU law, provided that such a rule is applied in a general and unconditional way.
Tribunals must accept as fact that women still bear the primary burden of childcare responsibilities and this hinders their ability to work certain hours.
The power to grant an interim relief order is not available in discrimination claims.
‘Gender-critical’ beliefs, including a belief that biological sex is real, important, immutable and not to be conflated with gender identity, are protected under the Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The treaty which forms the basis of the right to equal pay in European law has direct effect in respect of claims where work is said to be of equal value, and not merely in respect of other instances of ‘equal work’ under UK legislation (i.e. like work or work rated as equivalent). It therefore can be invoked in legal proceedings between individuals directly.
When considering whether an impairment has a substantial effect on someone’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities, it’s the statutory definition of ‘substantial’ which should be the focus and not the gloss on it provided in the statutory guidance.
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.
The removal of a non-executive director from his post after he spoke to the press expressing disapproval for same-sex couple adoption was not discrimination on the grounds of religion.
When considering an employer’s defence that it took ‘all reasonable steps’ to prevent an employee discriminating against another employee, it is legitimate to consider how effective the steps that have been taken were likely to be when they were taken and how effective they have proved to be in practice.
An employee’s comment in a written grievance that her employer’s actions ‘may amount to discrimination’ was insufficient to amount to a protected act under the Equality Act for the purposes of her victimisation claim.
The EAT has clarified the scope of certain rights under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, principally the right to be informed of vacancies (reg.13) and the right to the same basic working conditions as directly employed hires (reg. 5).
While saving costs can never of itself justify indirect discrimination, a need to reduce expenditure to live within budgetary constraints can be a legitimate aim for the purposes of justifying indirect discrimination.
A change to or the imposition of a new employment contract is a one-off event with continuing consequences - not a continuing act for the purposes of bringing a whistleblowing detriment claim. Also, the tribunal should have considered an uplift in compensation because of a failure to follow the ACAS code of practice as the making of a protected disclosure was a grievance.
A gender fluid/non-binary employee was covered by the definition of gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010.
An employee who suffered paranoid delusions was not disabled because although these had a substantial adverse effect, they were not long term or likely to recur.
A ‘material factor’ defence continues to operate until a new pay decision.
For a claim under s. 15 of the Equality Act a claimant cannot argue that ‘but for’ their disability they would not have been put in a situation that led to unfavourable treatment – rather the focus is on the reasons for the treatment itself.
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