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£184,961 a costly price to pay for refusing a flexible working request


The claimant was employed as a sales manager by a small estate agency firm, whose normal working hours were 9am until 6pm.


On her return from maternity leave she made a flexible working request to finish at 5pm so she could pick up her child before the nursery’s closing time. Her employer refused the request on several grounds including an inability to reorganize work among other employees and an inability to meet customer demand. Although the tribunal recognized the business concerns, these did not outweigh the discriminatory impact on her.


The claimant resigned and brought several claims, including indirect sex discrimination. She won that claim on the basis that her employer had applied a provision, criterion or practice to her which was discriminatory and placed her at a disadvantage, when compared to men with children.


She was awarded £184,961.32 for loss of earnings, loss of pension contributions, injury to feelings and interest.




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Olivier Pitt
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