Heritage Lottery Fund revises maternity policy after sex discrimination claim

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has updated its maternity policy to offer salary increases across the board to all staff, including those who have taken unpaid additional maternity leave.

The organisation’s policy was changed after a sex discrimination claim was made by one of its employees, who was initially only offered a pro-rata annual pay increase because she had been on unpaid additional maternity leave.

After discussions with Amanda Newman, who had taken advice from the Equal Opportunities Commission, the HLF has offered her a full salary increase and has changed its policy to benefit all staff.

Jenny Watson, deputy chair of the EOC, said: “We are delighted that the HLF has addressed the issue of pregnancy discrimination in its pay policies. Women on maternity leave should not be treated unfairly by their employers.”

The agreement reached between Newman and the HLF follows on from the recent case of Michelle Alabaster, whose tribunal victory against Merrill Lynch closed a legal loophole which prevented women on maternity leave from bringing equal pay claims.

Watson said: “Taken together, these cases prove that women on maternity leave should not be discriminated against.

“Michelle Alabaster’s case set an important legal precedent and I am pleased to see organsations such as the HLF changing their own policies.”

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