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Sex discrimination: Tribunal should have considered effect of employer's action, not motivation

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Allen v Cannon Hygiene Ltd [1994] EAT (1 other report)

    • Objective rather than subjective test

      Date:
      1 December 1994

      Where an employee was told that a decision to transfer her was taken because she was a woman, the employers could not avoid a finding of sex discrimination by showing that the true reason for their decision was her unsatisfactory performance, rules the EAT in Allen v Cannon Hygiene Ltd.

A female employee whose manager changed her work, ostensibly because it was "too much" for a woman to do on her own, suffered less favourable treatment on the ground of her sex even though the real reason for the manager's decision was dissatisfaction with the employee's work rather than any intention to discriminate. In Allen v Cannon Hygiene Ltd the EAT holds that the industrial tribunal wrongly focused on the employer's motivation and failed to consider the effect of its action, which was to deprive the employee of the chance to answer alleged complaints about her performance.