Upholding a woman's right to advance her career whilst pregnant

Case name: X v A Police Force

When a woman discovered she was pregnant after being offered a job in the police force, the offer was withdrawn. We were concerned this amounted to discrimination and provided the woman with legal assistance to support her case.

Legal issue

Is having a job offer withdrawn on discovering pregnancy discriminatory?

Background

A woman was offered a job with the Police, subject to medical and fitness tests. Soon after, she discovered she was eight weeks pregnant and was told that her application would be put on hold.

The recruiter asked the woman whether having a baby would prevent her working shifts, she was later contacted and told her application had ‘timed out’ because she had not completed medical and fitness tests within six months and eventually, the job offer was withdrawn.

Why we were involved

It is our responsibility to uphold the Equality Act. We were concerned that the police force’s ‘time out’ policy indirectly discriminated against women.

We also believed this woman had been directly discriminated against because her pregnancy meant she couldn’t take the fitness test within six months.

We challenged this policy by providing legal assistance, so that other women weren’t disadvantaged.

What we did

We challenged this policy by providing legal assistance so that other women weren’t disadvantaged.

What happened

The woman's case was resolved out-of-court. She was allowed to continue with her application and received £6,000.

Who will benefit and how

There are 123,000 police officers in the UK and 30 per cent are women.

We are now working with the police force to make sure this policy is changed and the equality rights of everyone who works for the force are protected.

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