Blog

  • Home
  • News
  • Redundancy Protection in Maternity
You Are Here:

Redundancy Protection in Maternity

Posted on | Posted in News

REDUNDANCY SCORING DURING MATERNITY LEAVE
In Eversheds Legal Services Ltd v De Belin UKEAT/0352/10, the EAT has upheld a decision that a law firm discriminated against a male lawyer on the ground of his sex when it inflated the redundancy selection score of a female colleague who was on maternity leave. It was decided that pregnant employees and those on maternity leave should only be treated more favourably than male colleagues to the extent that this is reasonably necessary to remove the disadvantages occasioned by their condition.
Mr De Belin and a female colleague were put in a pool for redundancy and scored against five criteria. One of the criteria was based on the time between a lawyer completing a piece of work and receiving fees from the client for that work (known as “lock-up”). The relevant reference period considered by Eversheds was the previous 12 months however, during this period the female employee had been on maternity leave. In the circumstances, she was given the highest possible score whereas Mr De Belin was given the lowest possible score based on a relatively bad lock-up performance. Once all criteria had been scored, the female employee scored a total of 0.5 points more than Mr De Belin and Mr De Belin was therefore selected for redundancy.
The EAT, upholding the Tribunal’s decision held that, although pregnant employees and those on maternity leave should sometimes be treated more favourably than their colleagues, this is only the case to the extent that it is reasonably necessary to compensate them for the disadvantages occasioned by their condition. The employer’s decision to award the female employee a notional maximum score in respect of one of the selection criteria, while leaving Mr De Belin with his actual score, was not a proportionate means of removing the woman’s disadvantage.
An alternative, less discriminatory way of removing the female employee’s maternity-related disadvantage would have been to measure the lock-up of both individuals as at the last date on which the female employee was present at work.
This decision highlights to employers that they should not automatically give employees on maternity leave preferential treatment as the “safe option”. Instead, the potential ways of mitigating the disadvantage of maternity absence should be assessed and the most appropriate option chosen.

0

Leave a Reply

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

Latest Posts
04 May 2021

What have you done today that your future self will thank you for?

  ‘Self-care’ has become a term often spoken of and written about – but what does it really mean? Me-time and meditation? Bubble baths and beauty sleep? Yoga and yogurt? As lovely and relaxing as all that sounds, self-care can also be about ACTION. More to the point, self-care can be about self-investment. How you[…..]

Latest Posts
27 Apr 2021

Do We Really Understand What Consent Is? – Guest blog by Clare Davis of Nova Associates

Sexual Assault has been headlines in the news on too many occasions in the last few weeks. What worries me are the messages we are conveying to our loved ones and employees about consent? Are we communicating what sex is really about? It is about building a relationship with the person we love and then[…..]

Latest Posts
31 Mar 2021

Where are they now? From financial sales to personal trainer

Why do we love working in a recruitment agency? Let us count the ways! At the top of the list is helping Basingstoke people find a way to earn a living doing what they love. You might have heard the Harvey Mackay quote that goes, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have[…..]

Latest Posts
19 Feb 2021

Collaboratives Robots, or Cobots; Transforming the factory floor to enhance productivity – Guest blog by Gary Livingstone, Managing Director, LG Motion

We’ve seen a gradual increased presence of robots on manufacturing factory floors, and industries that have embraced automation have seen an increase in efficiency and productivity. There is a key concern amongst employees that the rise of robots will ensure the human worker extinct. This concern is mostly unfounded and is a result of the[…..]

Latest Posts
16 Feb 2021

Apprenticeships – Are they for me? – Guest blog by Judith Moule, Director & Apprenticeship Ambassador AAN at ETA Consultancy Services LLP

As someone who has employed and trained hundreds of apprentices and supported many more into apprenticeship roles I am totally biased and a complete believer in how powerful they can be for a business, to me it is a business no brainer! When deciding whether apprenticeships will work for your business it is critically important[…..]