Nurse sacked over flexible working secures ‘landmark’ victory

An employment enchantment has clarified the regulation on oblique discrimination in a ‘landmark’ victory for working moms, ruling {that a} tribunal panel ought to have paid extra consideration to the ‘childcare disparity’ between women and men.

The employment enchantment tribunal (EAT) was requested to contemplate a declare introduced by a neighborhood nurse who was dismissed after she was unable to fulfill her employer’s new requirement to work flexibly, together with some weekends. The claimant – who has three kids, two of who’re disabled – introduced claims of unfair dismissal and oblique discrimination. 

In Dobson v North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, the president of the EAT, Mr Justice Choudhury, dominated that the tribunal ought to have taken judicial discover of the truth that ladies bear the higher burden of childcare tasks than males, which may restrict their capability to work sure hours.

‘Whilst things might have progressed somewhat in that men do now bear a greater proportion of child caring responsibilities than they did decades ago, the position is still far from equal,’ he mentioned. ‘The tribunal erred in not taking account of it and in treating the claimant’s case as unsupported by proof. The childcare disparity is so well-known within the context of oblique discrimination claims and so usually the topic of judicial discover in different instances that it was incumbent on the tribunal, within the circumstances, to take discover of it right here.’

The decide added that this was a case ‘where the relationship between the childcare disparity and the provision, criterion or practice (PCP) in question is likely to result in group disadvantage being made out. Indeed, it can be said that the PCP was one that was inherently more likely to produce a detrimental effect, which disproportionately affected women.’

The enchantment additionally discovered that the tribunal erred by limiting its comparability to these within the quick nursing workforce, moderately than a bigger pool of nurses affected by modifications to working patterns.

The case was remitted to the employment tribunal.

Littleton Chambers, which represented the claimant, described the result as a ‘landmark victory for working mothers’.


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