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20-02-2014

Rather embarrassingly, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has lost its appeal against a finding of sexual discrimination.

The Claimant and a male comparator were permitted to work from home on certain days each week to facilitate childcare arrangements. The Claimant’s right to do so was revoked, although she was offered the facility of more flexible working hours.

The explanation for the Claimant’s apparently less favourable treatment was rejected by the Employment Tribunal which went on to find that the reverse burden of proof in Section 63A of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 had come into play and that the Respondent had failed to show a non-discriminatory reason for its treatment of the Claimant.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the Respondent had given a false explanation for the less favourable treatment and the Employment Tribunal was accordingly bound to conclude that the Claimant had suffered discrimination.

Given that if this had been a case against a firm of solicitors, a finding of discrimination could, in theory, result in disciplinary action by the SRA against that firm, it will be interesting to see what if anything further comes of this.

See link, for the full case report.

Sarah Rushton (srushton@moonbeever.com)

Tel: 0207 539 4147

This is intended for general information only and should not be considered as giving advice in relation to any individual case nor be taken as applying to any particular case. No liability is accepted for any such use of the information.

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