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Male Employee Wins Employment Tribunal Claim for Discrimination

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Lawson-West Solicitors - Expert Author

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June 3, 2010 employmentlawatlawsonwest

In a recent case, a male former employee of a law firm, Eversheds, won an Employment Tribunal claim on the grounds that he was treated less favourably than a female employee who was on maternity leave. 

The employers had devised a scoring matrix to be used for a group of employees at risk of redundancy.  One of the criteria in the scoring matrix was related to performance.  The male employee making the Employment Tribunal claim had been scored according to his performance.  However, the other employee in the redundancy pool had been on maternity leave for the relevant period.  Rather than change the time period to one where both employees were at work or take out the performance criteria, the employer decided to give the employee on maternity leave the maximum score.  This disadvantaged the male employee who had been scored on actual performance. 

The employer did not make it clear whether it would have treated an employee on paternity leave in the same way so the employee won his Employment Tribunal claim.

The Employment Tribunal found that the employee on maternity leave had been given an unfairly inflated score and that the inflated score had been given in an attempt to defeat any potential Employment Tribunal claim.

Eversheds have lodged an appeal.

If a female employee had been treated less favourably because she was on maternity leave, she can make an Employment Tribunal claim based on the Sex Discrimination Act.  Similarly if an employee is treated less favourably because he was on paternity leave, he would be able to make an Employment Tribunal Claim, particularly if he was dismissed on grounds of paternity leave as this would make the dismissal automatically unfair.

Therefore employers need to take care that redundancy proceedings and scoring matrices are fair and do not unfairly discriminate against employees on maternity or paternity leave.  If a suitable alternative job becomes available, a woman on maternity leave must be offered it in preference to other employees at risk of redundancy.


About the Author

Lawson-West specialise in commercial, business and employment law. Our team of dedicated commercial solicitors can help with buying or selling a business, business law and disputes, landlord and tenant issues and commercial property. Our expert employment team can offer practical advice and guidance on all aspects of employment law including redundancy, compromise agreements and dismissal procedures. Visit www.lawson-west.co.uk for more information.



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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-08-18 14:06:12 in Legal Articles

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