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.
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 Trethowans0
Part of our culture at Wote Street is about giving back. Our core values are: we listen, we consult, we care and that fits perfectly with all of the charities and community groups we support locally. The Pink Place – supporting people affected by cancer Basingstoke Consortium & Skillstree – helping young people to gain[…..]
Don’t get us wrong, a CV is an important tool when applying for jobs – but it’s only one of the items in your job seekers toolkit. (If you need some help developing your CV we’ve written a blog to help or feel free to give us a ring and we’ll happily review.) Getting to[…..]
There couldn’t be a better time for Mental Health Awareness week. Now that the government restrictions due to the corona virus are being lifted, more people are anxious about the repercussions. It’s still out there; bosses and employees alike are trying to make the journey to work and the work environment a relatively safe place[…..]
We connect the best-matched candidates and businesses – the people brokers. Taking the time to find the right-fit for candidates and customers alike increases the probability of candidates being happy in not only your new role but blossoming in the right company culture. And companies achieving higher staff retention, effective teams and increased staff productivity. […..]
Tomorrow we have a bank holiday on a Friday! Special because this normally only happens for Good Friday at Easter. Not so special because the majority are at home already and have been for at least 7 weeks. The Covid-19 outbreak has turned normality on its head. As indeed did World War II, the end[…..]