Labour & European Law Review
31 May 2012
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which makes a number of changes to employment law, received its first reading in the Commons last week.
The Bill covers changes to dispute resolution, reform of Employment Tribunals, unfair dismissal awards, financial “penalties” on employers, whistleblowing and compromise agreements.
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (now part of the Equality Act 2010) outlaws discrimination on the ground of pregnancy. In Warby v Wunda Group plc, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) said that it was not necessarily discriminatory for an employer to make a remark about a pregnancy once the context in which it had been made was taken into account.
In discrimination claims, the burden of proof is on the worker to establish facts from which a Tribunal can decide whether there has been discrimination. In Meister v Speech Design Carrier Systems GmbH, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said that employers are not required to disclose information about a successful job applicant to an unsuccessful applicant, although not doing so could be a factor that a court takes into account when deciding whether there has been discrimination.