One of the advantages of working in a department that handles a large number of cases is that it becomes possible to spot trends and patterns.  

We have been noticing recently an increased tendency to link a discrimination element into claims.  Sometimes the links are clear but others require a set of assumptions that are outdated now assuming if they ever existed. The most common occurrence of this is the linking of childcare to sex discrimination.  

We see a number of claims that boldly assert that as there was an issue connected with childcare this is discrimination on grounds of sex.  However, as with all areas of law things are never that straight forward.  The danger here is asserting direct discrimination when the issue is indirect. Consideration needs to be given as to whether or not the woman is the main childcare provider, if the difficulties with childcare are by choice or necessity, and if she has been disproportionately affected when compared to male counterparts.  There are a lot more hurdles to cross to succeed in this argument than are often appreciated and there are many more lines of defence then may be realised when this allegation first raises its head. Call us at Peninsula if you need help and assistance on 0800 328 9348. 

– Ellen Singer, Legal Services Department.