Taskforce needed to clear up sex discrimination cases

Equal Opportunities Commission is claiming that two sex discrimination cases
this week demonstrate the need for the Work and Parents Taskforce to help
parents work flexibly.

former receptionist at Lex Retail Group settled her case for sex discrimination
and unfair dismissal for £8,000 after the company refused to allow her to work
part-time following maternity leave.

a secretary at accountancy firm Hacker Young settled her sex discrimination
claim for £5,000. While on maternity leave her part-time post was filled on a
full-time basis and she claimed that she wasn’t offered a suitable alternative.

on the case of Marcia Ashman and Lex Retail Group, Julie Mellor, chair of the
EOC, said, “The problems Ashman faced when she tried to reduce her hours after
maternity leave will be all too familiar to many parents.

parents had a right to have their request to work part-time seriously
considered 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.”

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