You may have seen in the news recently that a woman (L) has won her Employment Tribunal case for sex discrimination. The Tribunal found that L a successful Marketing Manager was discriminated against on the basis of her sex, and was awarded £90k in damages. L had received a formal job offer as a Senior Marketing Manager at the company, however, after the formal job offer had been issued, the employer learned the ages of L’s children (1&4) and the job offer was subsequently retracted.

Why was this deemed discriminatory?

The Tribunal found that the company’s decision was made by a discriminatory assumption of her ability or potential lack of ability to manage her work and childcare/family responsibilities. Even although they had discussed L’s need for flexible working. It was also claimed that it was unlikely that this question would have been asked of a man.

Employers must recruit on the basis of ability to perform the particular role, this should be done fairly and regardless of a person’s commitments at home.

The Tribunal found that L’s sex was the contributing factor as to the reason her job offer was rescinded due to the assumption that her childcare responsibilities would have an impact on her ability to carry out the role.

What can you do and how can we support?

Creating inclusive workplaces

Creating a culture that supports all your employees no matter their circumstances.  This could mean reviewing current flexible working arrangements or hybrid working arrangements.  However, truly inclusive workplace goes beyond protected characteristics.

Did you know that we can run sessions that will explore the various unprotected characteristics and how these can define and influence the culture and employee engagement? You will recognise how to measure where you are on your inclusivity journey and identify different strategies to move you along your journey.

Line Manager training

Your line managers should be front and central to your policies and procedures and therefore ongoing training with regards to Policies, procedures, handling difficult situations/ conversations and ensuring they recognise unconscious bias in their practices, will only enhance your inclusive workforce.

Our line manager training provides the practical tools to support your managers and help them feel more confident. It doesn’t just focus on the what but also the why to really empower your managers.

Reviewing policies

We can review your policies to ensure they are free from biased language and are supportive to your staff to help them manage their work-life balance.

Recruitment practices and job descriptions

We can support you to review and ensure your recruitment practices and job descriptions are unbiased and free from language that could deter individuals from applying.  We can also support you to ensure interview questions are suitable for assessing the needs of the role and without biased language.

Did you know?

Although we are outsourced, we regularly visit our clients, to support with all manner of HR related scenarios, including but not limited to, attending Senior Management meetings, All staff team meetings and to support clients with recruitment processes such as interviews and inductions.  We also support more formal processes or can simply attend to be a note taker or in an advisory and support capacity.

We are always happy to be onsite with our clients, as we believe this helps us to build and strengthen our well-founded relationships with our clients.