Gay action tipped to set standard

BOSSES who discriminate between heterosexual and gay employees will be in breach of the law if an action being taken by a staff member of South West Trains is successful.

Telephone enquiry bureau supervisor Lisa Grant claims SWT has contravened the provisions of the Equal Pay Act by refusing to provide her lesbian partner with a free travel pass.

British Railways Board policy states free travel passes must only be given to spouses or heterosexual partners of two years standing.

Grant is also suing SWT for breach of contract, alleging the refusal of a travel pass contradicts the British Rail equal opportunities policy.

Barnett Alexander Chart solicitor Ruth Harvey, who is acting for Grant, said the Act ruled that pay differentials, including travel concessions, must be open to all employees.

“Both of these cases are based on sound domestic and European principles,” said Harvey.