26 Jun Male employee succeeds in direct sex discrimination claim for failure to pay enhanced shared parental pay

An employment tribunal has upheld a male employee’s claim that his employer’s failure to pay enhanced shared parental pay, in circumstances where it did pay enhanced maternity pay, amounted to direct sex discrimination. The tribunal decided that the comparison between a man on shared parental leave and a woman on maternity leave was not prohibited by section 13(6)(b) of the Equality Act 2010. This was on the basis that paying enhanced maternity pay (beyond the two week compulsory maternity leave period) did not amount to special treatment afforded to women in connection with pregnancy or childbirth. In reaching that conclusion, the tribunal distinguished pregnancy or childbirth from caring for a newborn, commenting that, nowadays, men are encouraged to share responsibility for caring for a newborn.

This decision contrasts with an earlier employment tribunal decision (Hextall v Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police ET/2601223/15). At the time of writing, we understand that both decisions have been appealed to the EAT. (Ali v Capita Customer Management Ltd ET/1800990/16.)

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