Employers must ensure their employment practices can be justified following an EAT ruling on sex discrimination claims.
Hilary Slater, consultant with Cobbetts solicitors, provides a round-up of decisions on discrimination.
Employment tribunals are usually anxious to prevent employers relying on technicalities to avoid liability for mistreating their staff. However, three recent decisions on appeal suggest the 'technical ruse' is alive and well.
This week's case roundup, covering a discriminatory part-time working policy and the level of an unfair dismissal award.
In Coker and Osamor v The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Court of Appeal holds that where an appointment is made from a close circle of family or friends, this will rarely constitute indirect discrimination as the vast majority of the relevant pool of potential candidates will be excluded. It will therefore not be possible to show that the requirement of personal knowledge has the disproportionate impact necessary to found a discrimination claim.
In The Chief Constable of the Bedfordshire Constabulary v Graham, the EAT upholds an employment tribunal's decision that the Chief Constable discriminated indirectly against a female inspector on the grounds of her sex and marital status when he rescinded her appointment to the division commanded by her husband, a chief superintendent, on the grounds of a possible conflict of interest.
In Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Constabulary v Chew, the EAT upholds an employment tribunal's decision that a female police officer who wanted to work part time suffered indirect sex discrimination because her childcare commitments meant she could not comply with a requirement that part-timers must work shifts in accordance with their department's duty roster patterns.
In Coker v Lord Chancellor (22 November 2001), the Court of Appeal holds that it was not indirectly discriminatory on grounds of sex or race for the Lord Chancellor to appoint a white man as his special adviser.
In Harvest Town Circle Ltd v Rutherford, the EAT remits the question of whether the age limit of 65 on the right to claim unfair dismissal or a redundancy payment is indirectly discriminatory on grounds of sex.
This week's case roundup, covering a pre-transfer of undertakings dismissal and sex discrimination.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to indirect sex discrimination.