The Employment Appeal Tribunal has overturned an employment tribunal finding that an employer was motivated by an employee's gender when it failed to follow its disciplinary process when it dismissed him, following an allegation of rape made against him. The EAT held that, although tribunals must be alive to the fact that stereotypical views of male and female behaviour exist, there must be evidence for a tribunal to conclude that an employer has been motivated by those views.
In Mayr v Bäckerei und Konditorei Gerhard Flockner OHG  IRLR 387, the ECJ held that the protection afforded by the Pregnant Workers Directive against dismissal on grounds of pregnancy does not extend to a woman undergoing IVF treatment who was dismissed when in-vitro-fertilised ova existed but had not yet been transferred to her uterus. However, if she was dismissed essentially because she had undergone this advanced stage of IVF treatment, her dismissal would amount to direct sex discrimination contrary to the Equal Treatment Directive.
Sue Johnstone, editor of Equal Opportunities Review, provides a round-up of some of the remedies that employment tribunals have awarded in harassment cases.
In Shaw v CCL Ltd EAT/0512/06, the EAT held that an employee whose request to work part time on her return from maternity leave was refused had been constructively unfairly dismissed.
In Madarassy v Nomura International plc  IRLR 246, the Court of Appeal has held that a "possibility" of discrimination arising only from a difference in gender and a difference in treatment is not, without more, sufficient to support an inference of unlawful discrimination, thereby shifting the burden of proof to the employer.
Tina McKevitt, lecturer in employment law at University of Sheffield, provides a round-up of employment tribunal decisions on discrimination.
In Home Office v Saunders, the EAT holds that, in a direct sex discrimination claim under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the employment tribunal did not err in finding that the correct hypothetical comparator for a female prison officer conducting a search on a male prisoner was a male prison officer conducting a search on a female prisoner.
In Nikoloudi v Organismos Tilepikinonion Ellados AE, the European Court of Justice holds that, while creating categories of workers composed of persons of a single sex does not itself constitute direct discrimination, less unfavourable treatment by reference to that category will amount to direct discrimination.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to direct sex discrimination.