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Sex discrimination: Special treatment of employee on maternity leave resulted in unlawful discrimination against male colleague

This report relates to 1 case(s)

In Eversheds Legal Services Ltd v de Belin [2011] IRLR 448 EAT, the EAT held that a male employee was discriminated against on the grounds of sex when he was selected for redundancy after a colleague on maternity leave was automatically given the highest possible score in respect of one of the selection criteria.

Key points

  • While the special position of employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave may sometimes mean that they will enjoy special treatment, the legislation must be interpreted so that the protection cannot extend to favouring such employees to an extent beyond that reasonably necessary to compensate them for the disadvantages arising by reason of their situation.