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Sexual Discrimination

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Indirect Discrimination

A person discriminates against a women if he applies to her a provision criteria or practice which would apply equally to a man but which is such that it would be a detriment to a considerably larger proportion of women than of men and which he cannot show to be justified in respect of the sex of a person to whom it is applied and which is to her detriment.

Let’s look at some examples which lie in situations of childcare.


A women with a young family may wish to change have hours of work to accommodate taking care of them. If the Company is very rigid in such policies in not allowing people to work part time or change their hours, this could amount to indirect discrimination against the women who work there because they are still the primary carers.

This example would also relate to the issue of flexible working.

In order to escape liability for indirect discrimination, the employer has to show that firstly the condition or the procedure is necessary and that it is required and then that it is justified.

I will give you an example in the case of Briggs in which a female teacher was required as part of her Contract of Employment to take part in school games out of school hours. This affected her because she was a mother and she had childcare responsibilities outside school hours. Again, under the primary carer principal, the Tribunal considered this and took the view that it was a reasonably necessary requirement for teachers to be able to work outside their contracted hours after school and therefore it was considered that there was no indirect discrimination under the grounds of justification. Say this same scenario occurred in a factory because the boss wanted a more flexible work force. Would this be justifiable? I think not yet it was in a school. Why?


The site author/owner has endeavoured to give clear information to benefit the reader. The information is no substitute for obtaining specific advice about any claim you may have from a person qualified to give it. The examples, and circumstances described etc bear no relation to any actual case and any resemblance to real circumstances is purely accidental and unintentional. The site author/owner accepts no liability for any mistake, error or inconsistency in the text and the reader should ALWAYS OBTAIN specific advice about his/her own situation. In order to assist the reader, you can give your details so that a qualified advisor can call you free of charge and assist you further via CLAIM EVALUATOR