This is a preview. To continue reading please log in or Register to read this article

Sex discrimination and pregnancy: Pregnancy dismissal was unlawful sex discrimination

This report relates to 1 case(s)

  • expand

    Webb v EMO Air Cargo (UK) Ltd (No.2) [1995] IRLR 645 HL (1 other report)

    • Pregnancy dismissal discriminatory

      Date:
      1 January 1996

      In Webb v EMO Air Cargo (UK) Ltd (No.2) (19 October 1995), the House of Lords rules that a dismissal on grounds of pregnancy was contrary to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, even though a man in similar circumstances would also have been dismissed. The House of Lords finds that the Sex Discrimination Act can be interpreted so as to accord with the ruling of the European Court of Justice that it was contrary to the Equal Treatment Directive to dismiss a woman on grounds of pregnancy, where she had been recruited for an unlimited term, even though she was initially going to replace another employee going on maternity leave and thus would not be available for that work.

An employer directly discriminates against a pregnant woman contrary to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 if, having recruited her for an indefinite period, it dismisses her because she will be temporarily unavailable for work at a time when she knows that she will be particularly needed. So holds the House of Lords in Webb v EMO Air Cargo (UK) Ltd, applying the ruling of the European Court of Justice.