Usage of inaccessible work email accounts during employee's maternity leave
The Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") held in SW Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust v Jackson that it can be unfavourable treatment under the Equality Act 2010 to send a woman on maternity leave an important email at an email address that she can't access. However, it will be necessary for a tribunal to consider the reason why the email was sent in that way.
One of the Claimants, Ms Pease, was on maternity leave while a redundancy exercise was being carried out. As part of the redundancy process, an important e-mail was sent to her e-mail address despite the fact that she was not accessing her account during her leave.
The Power of the 'Hypothetical Comparator'
The Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") recently addressed the issue of hypothetical comparators in employment claims in Governing Body of Sutton Oak Church of England Primary School & 2 Others v. Mr M Whittaker.
The Respondent was a primary school teacher who was employed at the school since qualifying as a teacher in 2001. In 2002, conduct issues arose in respect of his relationship with a pupil. He had visited the child's home, offered him a "long ride in his car", had given him a birthday card and photograph and had been seen hugging and tickling him. The school decided that his conduct had been naïve and gave him a first written warning for inappropriate and unprofessional contact