Caring discrimination case heard by European Court of Justice

Caring could become the seventh equalities strand after a European court case this week.

Sharon Coleman’s claim that she was discriminated against by her employer because she was caring for her severely disabled son was heard by the European Court of Justice.

A decision was delayed until January, but Emily Holzhausen, head of policy and public affairs at charity Carers UK, said she was hopeful of a landmark ruling.

Holzhausen said that if the decision went in Coleman’s favour, employers would have to ensure equal treatment for carers in the same way as gender, race, age, sexual orientation, disability and faith.

Holzhausen said: “If this case is successful, employers will have to alter the way that they treat carers of someone with a disability within the workplace in order to comply with the new case law.

“They will have to ensure that they make reasonable adjustments, recruit fairly, and [do] not discriminate against carers within their workforce.”

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