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Your email address will not be published.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
25 Mar 2020

Why you should always be recruiting

Being on the constant look out for potential candidates is essential for attracting the very best people to your business. By waiting until you need someone, you’ll only get the best of candidates available at that point in time. However, by always recruiting, you expose your business to the best of the best. Here’s some[…..]

Latest Posts
12 Mar 2020

The wonder of women

– My inspirational week   Last week was incredibly inspirational for me, and not only because Sunday was International Women’s Day. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday attending a Mental Health First Aid course in Basingstoke, courtesy of Neil Perry Mental Health. It was noticeable that all delegates were women and I hope future events attract[…..]

Latest Posts
17 Feb 2020

Do you hate job boards? Why registering with a recruitment agency helps your job search

Are you tired of spending hours online searching for jobs? Applying for hundreds of positions and not receiving so much as an acknowledgement? Fed-up of being unemployed or unhappy with your current career path? Here at Wote Street People, we always strive to find the perfect match between candidate and employer – something that cannot[…..]

Latest Posts
20 Dec 2019

When the going gets tough: celebrating resilience

Wote Street People sponsors University of Winchester Resilience Award With Christmas nearly upon us, the ‘silly season’ starts – parties ramp up, office life slows down, and chat about what everyone is doing this year is as plentiful as the supply of festive bakes. But it’s not the most wonderful time of the year for[…..]

Latest Posts
04 Nov 2019

Boringstoke to Amazingstoke: 3 reasons why Basingstoke is a great place to look for work in 2020

Another year is almost over and with less than 50 shopping days before Christmas, you may also be thinking about a career move in the New Year. Why not consider a job in Basingstoke? Located in Basing View, one of Basingstoke’s growing business communities, Wote Street People know what a great place Basingstoke is to[…..]