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
The UK Government Coronavirus Job Retention scheme ended on 30 September 2021 and organisations across the country will be deciding which roles are now redundant. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) predicts that 150,000 employees will be affected the end of the furlough scheme. The employees could benefit from support like outplacement[…..]
Anthony has been on the books of Wote Street People, a recruitment agency in Basingstoke, for over 12 years. We’ve placed him in temporary jobs, permanent jobs, and he’s found jobs himself…but he always comes back to us. By telling his story, we hope other candidates will be able to see how much we invest[…..]
As mentioned in our previous blog, there is currently a widespread candidate shortage and we need your help to match the right people to the right jobs. What has a candidate shortage got to do with me? Worker shortages will affect everyone at a personal, local and national level. The pandemic and people self-isolating proved[…..]
Why did the chicken cross the road? There wasn’t a lorry driver available to give it a lift. You’ve probably heard the news reports of a partial closure of the restaurant chain Nando’s and fewer dishes on the menu at KFC. Turkey might be off the menu for some this Christmas too because of a[…..]
3 ways working with a trusted recruitment agency can help minimise your candidate shortage dilemma. Wote Street People contributes data to The Jobs Report, issued monthly industry by KMPG & REC. Last month’s findings made for interesting reading for HR Managers and Directors currently trying to recruit new staff. Here’s a few snippets: Job vacancies[…..]