Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment recognises the burden of childcare on women

The applicant, a community nurse in England, claimed that she had been unfairly dismissed and was discriminated against on the basis of her sex. The applicant worked for the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. Her employer introduced the requirement for all community nurses to work flexibly which included working at weekends. The applicant was not able to comply with the new requirement to work at the weekends as she also had to care for her three children. Due to her inability to work at weekends her employment was terminated.

The applicant appealed the decision to the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The Appeals Tribunal ruled that it was the applicant’s childcare responsibilities that should have been taken into account and that because women bear a greater burden in childcare they are less likely to be able to work the same working patterns as men.

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