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Sex discrimination: Extension of unfair dismissal qualifying period was compatible with Article 119

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    R v Secretary of State for Employment ex parte Seymour-Smith and Perez (No.2) [2000] IRLR 263 HL (2 other reports)

    • Qualifying period increase justified

      Date:
      1 June 2000

      In R v Secretary of State for Employment ex parte Seymour-Smith (No.2) the House of Lords has ruled that the Secretary of State was objectively justified under European law in increasing the unfair dismissal qualifying period from one to two years in 1985 and in maintaining it in 1991, when the applicants in this case were dismissed, notwithstanding that the qualifying period indirectly discriminated against women.

    • Unfair dismissal qualifying period upheld

      Date:
      1 March 2000

      In R v Secretary of State for Employment ex parte Seymour-Smith and Perez (No.2) (17 February 2000) EOR90A, the House of Lords has ruled that the Secretary of State was objectively justified under European law in increasing the unfair dismissal qualifying period from one to two years in 1985 and in maintaining it in 1991, when the applicants were dismissed, notwithstanding that the qualifying period indirectly discriminated against women.

In R v Secretary of State for Employment, ex parte Seymour-Smith and another (No.2) 17.2.00 House of Lords, the House of Lords holds, by a majority, that the extension of the qualifying period for unfair dismissal from one year to two years in 1985 had a considerably greater adverse impact on women than men in 1991 so as to amount to indirect discrimination for the purposes of (what was then) Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome. The available statistics showed a lesser but persistent and relatively constant disparity over a long period between men and women. However, the Order that extended the qualifying period was objectively justified when it was made and remained so six years later.