The Equal Opportunities Commission is claiming that two sex discrimination
cases last week demonstrate the need for the Work and Parents Taskforce to help
parents work flexibly.
A former receptionist at Lex Retail Group settled her case for sex
discrimination and unfair dismissal for £8,000 after it refused to allow her to
work part-time following maternity leave.
Also a secretary at accountancy firm Hacker Young settled her claim for
£5,000. While on maternity leave her part-time post was filled on a full-time
basis and she claimed she wasn’t offered a suitable alternative.
Julie Mellor, chair of the EOC, said, "If parents had a right to have
their request to work part- time considered seriously then an employer who
turned down such a request would have to be absolutely sure they had a real
justification for doing so.
"The Work and Parents Taskforce needs to find ways of ensuring parents
do benefit from more flexibility at work."