Sex bias ruling goes in favour of employers

Relief for employers and the tribunal service came last week when a House of
Lords ruling cancelled out an estimated 3,000 claims for sex discrimination.

The cases have all been adjourned pending the final outcome of the long-running
Seymour-Smith and Perez case.

This tested the two-year service period required to qualify for protection
from unfair dismissal.

The claimants argued that the cut-off point, since reduced to one year,
represented indirect sexual discrimination against women because men work for
longer periods.

But in a final judgement the Lords ruled that the statistics did not
convincingly bear this out, and that it is justifiable for the Government to
have a service requirement so as to encourage recruitment.

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