In Day v T Pickles Farms Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) says that an employer should not wait for written notification of an employee's pregnancy before carrying out a risk assessment, and that its failure to carry out an assessment may have caused the employee detriment within the provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.
An employee who exercised her right to return to work after extended maternity leave by giving proper notice, but who was prevented by illness from attending for work on the notified date and was not allowed back, was unfairly dismissed, holds the Court of Appeal in Halfpenny v IGE Medical Systems Ltd.
In Day v T Pickles Farms Ltd, the EAT holds that an employer who failed to make an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of a woman of child-bearing age employed in a sandwich shop no later than the date she started working there, and certainly before she became pregnant, could thereby have subjected her to a "detriment" within the meaning of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.
A contractual term which requires a woman to undertake to return to work on the expiry of her maternity leave or otherwise to repay any amounts paid to her by her employer over and above statutory maternity pay during that period, does not contravene the equal pay principle contained in Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome and the Equal Pay Directive, rules the European Court of Justice in Boyle and others v Equal Opportunities Commission.
In Handels- og Kontorfunktionaerernes Forbund i Danmark (acting on behalf of Pedersen) v Faellesforeningen for Danmarks Brugsforeninger (acting on behalf of Kvickly Skive), the European Court of Justice rules that certain provisions of Danish law which permit the less favourable treatment in terms of pay of pregnant workers who are incapable of work due to a pregnancy-related illness prior to the commencement of their maternity leave contravene Article 119 and the Equal Pay Directive.
An employment tribunal was entitled to decide that an employer's refusal to allow a receptionist to change her working hours on her return from maternity leave was objectively justified, with the result that the employee's complaint of indirect sex discrimination failed, holds the EAT in Eley v Huntleigh Diagnostics Ltd.
In King v Hundred of Hoo Nursery, the EAT overturns an employment tribunal's decision that an employee lost the right to return to work from extended maternity leave because her intention to return was mentioned informally when her father took written notification of the baby's premature birth to her employer, but was not expressed in writing at that stage.
The EC Equal Treatment Directive precludes dismissal of a female worker at any time during her pregnancy for absences owing to pregnancy-related illness, rules the European Court of Justice in Brown v Rentokil Ltd.
A woman who was deprived of the right to an annual performance assessment - and, consequently, of the possibility of qualifying for promotion - because she was on maternity leave was discriminated against on grounds of sex within the meaning of the EC Equal Treatment Directive, holds the European Court of Justice in Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Vieillesse des Travailleurs Salariés v Thibault.
In Cast v Croydon College, the Court of Appeal holds that the act of discrimination complained of by a woman, whose employer had refused on three separate occasions to allow her to jobshare after she returned from maternity leave, extended up to the time she resigned.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to pregnancy or maternity discrimination under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.