I’ve started so I’ll finish: withdrawal of flexible working was direct sex discrimination

The claimant in The Solicitors Regulation Authority v Mitchell had, on her return from maternity leave, agreed with her employers that she could work from home two days each week to facilitate childcare arrangements. (This was agreed in 2001, before the statutory right to request flexible working was introduced.) A male colleague in the department, who had a son with health problems, worked similar flexible hours.

Some years later, the claimant asked to change the arrangements to cater for a new school run. At this point, the employer withdrew consent to her working from home, although she was offered the opportunity of more flexible working hours. The working arrangements of the male colleague were not changed. This led to a dispute and eventually a claim of direct sex discrimination, which the tribunal upheld…

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