Employment Law – Maternity – Nature, Size, Place


case Blundell v The administration of St Andrews Catholic Primary School and Another [2007] concerned a woman who claimed that she was discriminated against on grounds of her pregnancy. Regulation 18 maternity and parental leave (ETC) Regulations 1999 (“Regulations”) provides:

“(2) An employee who returns to work … is the right to return the license to work as it was Acting for her absence, or if it is not reasonably practicable for the employer to allow her to return to work in another job which is both suitable for her and appropriate for her to do in the circumstances.

Rule 2 (1) provides:

“Job” in connection with the employee back after maternity leave … … means the nature of the work she used to do in accordance with his contract capacity and place where she is so engaged.

Claimant was a teacher of the first defendant school. During the school year 2002 to 2003, she was given the responsibility to be a teacher for the yellow reception class. In June 2003, she said another defendant, who was a principal, she was pregnant.

standard practice teacher is the end of the school year was to ask each teacher what their preferences were a class assignment for the coming academic year. She usually tries to keep each teacher in a particular role for two years. Having been told about the impending maternity leave, the teacher asked the victims if she wanted to be “floating obligations” next year.

Claimant initially, however the next day told the principal that she did not have “floating role.” Principal said the victims that she had decided, reluctantly because of concern about disruption to the children, to allow the claimant to teach reception yellow again.

Subsequently, on 5 December, before the end of the school term, the claimant took sick leave because she was suffering from a pregnancy-related condition. She had the baby in January 2004. She was not due to return to work until the beginning of the term and the principal did not ask her about her choice of category allocation in June 2004.

Shortly before her return to work the principal offered her the option of “floating role of” class teacher or class two. Claimants choose the latter, even though she had never taught the year before and two of her case two year involved heavy responsibility.

creditor since a claim for sex discrimination in employment tribunal, complained that she had suffered a number of detriments because of her pregnancy. The tribunal dismissed the claim and the claimant appealed to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

On appeal, that arose in the meaning of “work” in the phrase “job she was working for her absence.” Rule 18 (2) of Regulation

appeal sentence was read

The regulation was to provide that returned came back to work the situation as close as possible to its left. The purpose of the regulations was continuity, prefer to avoid disruption. The agreement was not final. The phrase “in accordance with its contract” recognized only the “nature” of the work. The tribunal found the capacity was more than “state”, but could surround it. It was believed that facts label and was representative of activities that employee plays do the work of nature that she did. The fact that there was a factual label, and not determined solely by the contract, was the most readily illustrated by considering the word ‘place’, which was not purely contractual.

Quantity specificity of three Matters ‘natural’, ‘capacity’ and ‘place’ was taking the important and central question was how the level of specificity must be determined and by whom.

question was actually one of the facts of the decision and judgment, and therefore for the court in the first place.

In approaching the question, the Tribunal had to consider both the purpose of the legislation and the fact that the Regulation itself provides for exceptional circumstances. These special cases to be there it was not practicable for the employer to allow her to return to work, the employer could provide for the return to another job that was both suitable for her and appropriate for her to do in the circumstances.

Legislation sought to ensure that there was as little dislocation as possible in the business of her, and in light of the purpose of the Act was to protect worker there was no need to clarify “the same job” covering a broad spectrum of work in order to ensure an appropriate balance between the employer and employee.

The term “Job” could be quite specifically defined. Orbital was awarded by the employer to be able to provide a job that was not the same job, but was still appropriate. If the exact location varied, the Court is not obliged to freeze time in the precise moment of its passengers took maternity leave, but may have regard to the normal range of variation had previously occurred.

In this case, the tribunal had given the correct answer on the results actually had.

Throughout her decision was the theme of the creditor may be taught in any class asked of her head, and it was real, not just theoretical claims arising from the contract one.

§ nature of the work, according to his contract, was a teacher.

§ its capacity, as a matter of fact, was viewed more realistically the class teacher and the teacher receiving yellow.

§ work could not be said to be the reception classroom, the school.

The Post claimant again the same position, if the level of specificity was right to look at the “teacher”. If it was temporarily precise, the exact status of the diverse, the question was whether the work at the site was beyond the bounds of what was permissible. It was clear that the Court found that it was not outside the normal variability of the claimant could have expected.

It was argued that the appeal should be dismissed on all grounds save in connection with the failure to ask the injured party in June 2004, state that the choice of the class she would take next year.

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© RT COOPERS, 2007. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the Law on the issues discussed nor does it include legal advice. It is intended to highlight general issues. Always sought expert legal advice in relation to certain conditions.


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