In the case of Snell v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, the employer paid enhanced parental leave to women but only statutory parental leave to men.
A father argued that the employer’s policy directly discriminated against men. Both he and his wife worked for the employer and they had agreed that she would take 27 weeks off work and he would take 12 weeks. However, the policy provided that his wife would receive full pay (for up to 6 months), whilst he would only receive statutory pay of £139.58 a week.
The employer originally tried to defend the claim by stating that the policy could be objectively justified as a proportionate means of recruiting and retaining women in a male dominated workforce. They also stated that they had met their legal obligation by paying statutory pay.
However, by the time the case reached the Employment Tribunal, the employer admitted liability.
The Employment Tribunal awarded the Claimant approximately £23,000, including £6,000 injury to feelings and £16,129 being the difference between statutory shared parental leave pay and what the Claimant would have received had he been entitled to the enhanced pay.
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