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Discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy/maternity leave

This week while preparing to defend a claim for discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy/maternity I re-read the interesting case of Johal –v- Commissioner for Equality and HR UKEAT/0541/09/DA where the EAT held (after examining a number of important discrimination cases) that the Claimant had not been discriminated or treated less favourably on the grounds that she was on maternity leave when her employer failed to inform her of an internal role, the real reason was that there had been an administrative error.

The EAT set out that the question a tribunal has to decide is “Why did the employer dismiss her?”. The case was decided in respect to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 however the principles are likely to be applicable to the Equality Act 2010. 

So business owners who have genuinely overlooked an employee because they have been on maternity leave may have a defence. If you are currently in a similar situation and need some advice and guidance please contact me on 0113 350 4030 or samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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