UK tribunal finds against Eversheds in discrimination case

April 13, 2011 The Employment Appeal Tribunal in the UK has found that Eversheds’ handling of an employee on maternity leave amounted to discrimination against other staff.

Last year, Eversheds decided to make an associate redundant. Those facing redundancy were graded on a number of grounds, including billing. One of the associates had been on maternity leave, and since Eversheds could not accurately assess her billing for that period, they awarded her full marks. The associate with the lowest grades - a male lawyer – was made redundant.

He claimed that the firm’s policy was discriminatory, and the EAT found in his favour, saying that under the Sex Discrimination Act favourable treatment for women in connection with pregnancy and child birth must be "proportionate" and that Eversheds had gone too far.

The firm has plans to appeal the decision.

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