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Robert Lassey Successfully Represents Respondent Against Sex & Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

by Kenworthy's Chambers 08/01/2019

Robert Lassey instructed by Stephensons Solicitors successfully represented a Respondent in a two-day sex & pregnancy discrimination trial at Sheffield Employment Tribunal. The Claimant brought claims of sex discrimination, pregnancy discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, and a pregnancy detriment claim under s.47C Employment Rights Act 1996.

The Claimant alleged that the Respondent had unreasonably failed to carry out a risk assessment in respect of her pregnancy, a breach of The Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999, which according to the case of Hardman v Mealon [2002] IRLR 516, can amount to discrimination under s.18 Equality Act 2010.

The central focus of the case involved a dispute as to the date on which the Claimant formally notified the Respondent in writing of her pregnancy, as prior to this date, the Respondent was not required to take any action in respect of the Claimant's pregnancy, including undertaking a formal risk assessment. This duty only arose once written notification of pregnancy, in whatever form, had been received.

After hearing all of the evidence presented, and given the complex nature of the case, the Tribunal ordered both parties to produce further written submissions for their consideration. Ultimately, the Tribunal agreed with Robert's submissions that the date of written notification was in fact much later than the dates put forward by the Claimant, and that appropriate action had been taken by the Respondent thereafter.