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Sex discrimination: Barton burden of proof guidelines adjusted

This report relates to 1 case(s)

  • expand disabled

    Chamberlin Solicitors and another v Emokpae [2004] IRLR 592 EAT (0 other reports)

Key points

In Chamberlins Solicitors and another v Emokpae, the EAT holds:

  • The Barton guidelines remain good law and govern the determination of the burden of proof in sex discrimination cases. However, guideline 10 would be adjusted to provide that, on transfer of the burden to the respondent, it must prove only that gender had no significant influence on the outcome.
  • The previous requirement for the respondent to prove that the discriminatory treatment was in no sense whatsoever on the ground of sex, was too onerous and was not supported by the language of the Burden of Proof or Equal Treatment Directives.
  • In the present case, the guidelines were applied correctly by the tribunal, when it found that an assistant in a legal practice was unlawfully discriminated against when she was dismissed following rumours of an affair between herself and a senior solicitor in the firm, in circumstances where a male assistant would not have been so treated.