HR update – parental leave, psychometric tests and dress codes


Here’s an interesting update from the MIA’s Employment Law specialists – The HR Point.

So far this year has been light on employment law changes, probably due to Brexit and the election.  But there have been some interesting tribunal decisions, which are worth being aware of:

Father discriminated against
A father has won his case for discrimination, his claim was that as he took shared parental leave but did not get the same level of pay as a female employee on maternity leave.  The court found other than for the 2 weeks’ compulsory maternity leave that woman have to take, it was discrimination not to pay him the same as a woman on maternity leave.  We advise you review your maternity, paternity and shared parental leave policies to ensure that you are not treating anyone less favourably.

Psychometric assessments and discrimination
If you required candidates to undertake psychometric assessments care should be taken following a recent case where a candidate with Asperger’s syndrome was discriminated against for being made to take the test despite asking for an alternative format.  We recommend that if candidates ask for adjustments due to a disability that you seek advice and consider reasonable adjustments.

Dress codes
You probably remember the media coverage last year over the female employee made to wear heels at work.

This prompted petitions and a government debate.  There was no resulting legislation but guidance will be issued, and the government said requirements were allowed providing it is considered a job requirement and men are made to dress to an “equivalent level of smartness”.  We would recommend if you have dress codes these are reviewed and adjusted to ensure they do not place and discriminatory requirements on levels of dress and subject male and female employees to equivalent dress standards.