Updated to include information on Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd, a personal injury case that may have implications for discriminatory behaviour by employees towards colleagues or third parties.
David Malamatenios is a partner, Linda Quinn and Krishna Santra senior associates and Melissa Powys-Rodrigues and Dominic Speedie associates at Colman Coyle Solicitors. They round up the latest rulings.
Line manager briefing looking at the rights of employees who become pregnant and take maternity leave, including paid time off for antenatal care, health and safety rights during pregnancy, eligibility for maternity leave, return to work after maternity leave and maternity pay.
This unusual case against the Metropolitan Police involves direct discrimination against a dog handler who was required to return a police dog during maternity leave, which damaged her career progression and denied her opportunities for overtime.
The tribunal's reference to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in this case could result in women who have a child through a surrogate mother being entitled to the same employment protection under EU law as conventional mothers.
This case is an example of an employer that needed to deal with the extremely difficult issue of having a disciplinary matter pending against a member of staff on maternity leave.
Clear evidence of direct discrimination is uncommon, but an employer's unfair actions can often lead to an inference of discrimination, as this case demonstrates.
In British Telecommunications plc v Roberts and Longstaffe (2 May 1996) EOR70D, the EAT rules that a request to jobshare after maternity leave is not covered by the special protection accorded to women during pregnancy and maternity leave.
In Handels-og Kontorgunktionaerernes Forbund i Danmark (acting for Hertz) v Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening (acting for Aldi Marked k/s) (8 November 1990) EOR35B, the European Court rules that a woman is protected from dismissal because of her absence during pregnancy and any maternity leave to which she has a right under national law.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to direct pregnancy and maternity discrimination.