07 February 2008
Flexible working denial 'could amount to sex discrimination and constructive dismissal'
An employment appeals tribunal has ruled that the rejection of an employee's request for flexible working could be seen as sex discrimination and constructive dismissal, Workplace Law Network reports.
It was decided that a worker, referred to as Ms Shaw, had resigned from her job because of the way she had been treated, which was found to be discriminatory.
Following six months on maternity leave, she had requested to work on a part-time basis and said she did not want to be more than 100 miles away from home or stay away on overnight business.
The tribunal held that the firm, which failed to agree to her requests, had discriminated against her. Further, because any example of discrimination is a breach of implied contractual terms, it was held that Ms Shaw was entitled to resign and treat herself as constructively dismissed.
Recently, Ben Willmott of the Institute of Personnel and Development suggested that firms that do not deal with so-called "fattism" in the workplace may face claims of constructive dismissal, the Times reported.