The Claimant took Shared Parental Leave ('SPL') as soon as his wife's compulsory maternity leave had ended. Under the Council's policy, he only got pay equal to statutory maternity pay, whereas the Council paid full pay to employees on Adoption Leave. Comparing himself to a female colleague on Adoption Leave, the Claimant alleged direct sex discrimination. The tribunal dismissed the claim as the comparator was wrong, listing five differences between employees on SPL and on Adoption Leave, one of which (that there was 'compulsory' adoption leave) was wrong.
The EAT dismissed his appeal – Adoption Leave is materially different to Shared Parental Leave because its purposes go beyond providing childcare and therefore the two are not comparable.