Newsflash: Discrimination & shared parental leave pay

shared parental leave - man with childWhat do we already know?

We updated you in our October 2014 Newsletter Government reforms (1): Family friendl(ier) – shared parental leave and pay  on the introduction and detail of shared parental leave.  We also warned you of the risks of discrimination claims if you do not offer the same rate of pay to both male and female employees during the leave.

What’s new?

The potential discrimination claim highlighted above has become a reality.

A male employee has been awarded almost £30,000 for sex discrimination by a Tribunal after his employer offered him only statutory pay during shared parental leave – while mothers were given full pay.

The male employee and his wife both worked for Network Rail and wanted to take advantage of shared parental leave.  The mother, the male employee’s wife, planned to take 27 weeks’ leave, after which the father, the male employee, would take 12 weeks’ leave. However, when the male employee applied for the leave, he was told he was only entitled to statutory parental pay of £139.58 per week (which was available for up to 39 weeks), while his wife would receive full pay for 26 weeks.

Given the significance of this decision we shall update you in further detail in our October 2016 Newsletter.

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