Blog

You Are Here:

Families at Work: Discrimination on the Grounds of Marital Status

Posted on | Posted in Discrimination

In the recent case of Hawkins v Atex Group, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered the question of discrimination on the grounds of marital status. The Claimant was employed by a company, in which her husband was the Chief Executive, when a policy prohibiting the employment of close relatives was implemented. This led to both the Claimant and her daughter being dismissed. The EAT decided that, unless the ground for the less favourable treatment is specifically “that they are married”, rather than only that they are in a close relationship which happens to take the form of marriage, there is no discrimination because of marital status. LJ Underhill observed that “although marriage and a close personal relationship usually go together, they are conceptually separate and not inevitable corollaries of one another.” In short, the policy applied to close relationships and not solely to spouses. The Respondent was not motivated by the fact that the Claimant was married to her husband. Accordingly, the EAT found that the treatment was not because of marital status.

However, this was a departure from a recent case of Dunn v Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management. In that case, it was held that a detriment which arose from being married to a particular person, not just being married, could give rise to a marital status discrimination claim.

Trethowans’ view: 

 

The two EAT decisions appear to conflict on the subject of whether being married to a particular person is protected under the marital status umbrella. Until the issue is clarified by a higher court, employers should be wary of dismissing employees simply because they are married to colleagues.

 -Kindly provided by Trethowans

0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts
22 Nov 2017

Established Basingstoke recruitment agency wins Student’s Choice Award

Local recruitment agency, Wote Street People, won Student’s Choice at the recent Skills Tree Awards. The ceremony was held at BDBC Council Chamber on 7th November and organised by Basingstoke Consortium; an education charity that works with the area’s young people. Their goal is to help students gain the skills and confidence for adult life[…..]

Latest Posts
01 Nov 2017

Guide to writing a CV, to get an interview that will get you the job!

What is it used for? A CV provides an overview of your working life so far. However, it doesn’t need to be restricted to just your working life. If you have achievements or interests outside of work that may have a bearing on your application – write about them. Now is not the time to[…..]

Latest Posts
01 Nov 2017

Interview Preparation

PREPARATION PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE Put yourself ahead of the rest and research thoroughly prior to your interview. Run through the Job Description and familiarise yourself with as many duties as possible. Pay attention to any Person Specifications and note what the company are looking for in a person. Look at the company website (provided by[…..]

Latest Posts
06 Oct 2017

Santa needs his Elves early

I don’t know about you, but it seems the minute the mid-Summer Solstice has happened we start thinking about Christmas.  Who’s going where and when.  Who wants what, who doesn’t want anything and who is going hide in their bedroom all day. You may think this is all a bit early.  However, many of our[…..]

Latest Posts
04 Sep 2017

Get the best staff with flexible working

Flexible working brings a more diverse pool of candidates – and could they be so wrong they’re right, like chocolate covered pork scratchings? Honestly, it’s a thing!  Belgian chocolate pork scratchings – it works because it is like “salted caramel on steroids”. It’s that whole salt/sweet combo but taken to another level, you first get[…..]