Can o’ worms

A father has been awarded more than £28,000 for sex discrimination after he was paid less than his wife during their shared parental leave.

David Snell and his wife both work for Network Rail and decided to take shared leave to care for their baby, who was born in January this year.

When they first applied for their leave, however, they discovered that while Mrs Snell would receive full pay for six months, Mr Snell was only entitled to statutory parental pay of about £140 per week.

He raised a grievance with the company and when this was rejected he lodged a claim for sex discrimination at an employment tribunal. Network Rail eventually conceded that its “family friendly policy” was discriminatory and an employment judge, Frances Eccles, awarded the signalling designer a total of £28,321.03.

15 thoughts on “Can o’ worms”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Sensible businessmen don’t employ pregnant women. Now sensible businessmen won’t employ their husbands as well.

    How does anyone think this is a good idea? Abolish the entire equality bureaucracy and laws. A total waste of time. After all, remember social science only has two genuine robust findings, one of which is every stereotype you have ever held, especially about sex and race, is likely to be true:

    “stereotype accuracy is one of the largest and most replicable findings in social psychology.”

  2. SMFS,
    That doesn’t matter to government and quasi-government employers like Network Rail. That’s why all the yummy mummies work for the government.

  3. Bloke Not in North Dorset in Turkey

    In the current socio-economic climate They were always going to lose that case,who ever rejected the original request shoul be fired.

    Thats not to say I agree, just acknowledging reality.

  4. SMFS,

    “How does anyone think this is a good idea? Abolish the entire equality bureaucracy and laws.”

    The problem is that governments have just gone mad with them. Maternity pay was originally simply about women being incapable to work after giving birth for about 6 weeks. It was a cost to employers, but of the scale that they didn’t mind too much.

    I know a team in the UK that got shut down by the US parent. 7 people, and in 2 years, they lost 2 years to maternity leave. Which then incurred costs of backfilling with contractors. One announced she was pregnant less than 2 months after joining. So, the company had spent 3 months salary on recruiting her, and she went off in less than a year. If someone leaves with those deals, you don’t pay, but maternity leave isn’t someone leaving the company. So they paid 3 months recruitment cost for someone who worked less than a year before buggering off for a year. Oh and because there’s no obligations, you can’t hire a contractor for a year, because they can come back whenever they like, which means you have to hire on shorter contracts, which means a higher price or worse people.

  5. ITBoy – ’twas even in the linked article:

    “The judge noted that instead of increasing the rate of pay for men taking paternal leave, Network Rail has responded by introducing a new policy that reduces women’s entitlement.”

    LOL.

  6. ‘It has since reduced women’s maternity leave entitlement to statutory payment only “to ensure fairness”’

    Oh dear. Unintended consequences, and all that.

    One announced she was pregnant less than 2 months after joining.

    Christ, she must have thrown away the pills the moment she got the acceptance letter.

  7. > One announced she was pregnant less than 2 months after joining.

    Perfectly sensible planning on the part of the woman.

    There’s an apocryphal story:

    Girl applies for a job, some time ago.
    Interviewer asks: “Why should we hire you? You’ll only bugger off on maternity leave within a couple of months”
    “Don’t worry,” replies the girl, “I’m barren”.
    “Great, welcome to the company!”
    Two months later.
    “I’m pregnant.”
    “I thought you said you were barren?”
    “It’s a miracle of God!”

  8. “Sensible businessmen don’t employ pregnant women.”

    Sensible businesses don’t employ women of reproductive age. Period – or not, preferably.

  9. Sensible businessmen don’t employ pregnant women.”

    Sensible businesses don’t employ women of reproductive age. Period – or not, preferably.

    Where is SJW?. This thread could get very interesting.

  10. Theo / LY

    Sensible businesses don’t employ women of reproductive age. Period – or not, preferably.

    Certainly true of a number of very small businesses in my experience. Simply can’t afford to. Larger businesses can take the smoothed hits a lot more easily.

    Sensible businessmen don’t employ pregnant women.

    Can’t see too many businesses of any size doing that! Might as well wait until it’s popped and see if she’s on for working again?

  11. Given the recent stats about the increase of women having kids in their 40’s that’s getting to be a big range

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