Different dress codes do not necessarily amount to sex discrimination

Dansie v. The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis [2009] UKEAT

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09/01/2010


HHJ Peter Clark of the EAT decided in Dansie v Metropolitan Police that under the SDA a male employee who was requested to cut his shoulder-length hair was not discriminated against. He had not been subjected to harassment either.
  • The employee had argued his case for discrimination on the grounds that a female employee faced with a similar situation would not be required to cut her hair.
  • The EAT decided that discrimination would not be found in cases where a company dress code was seen to be balanced equally between the sexes.

  • The EAT upheld the ET's decision in finding that a female recruit who had failed to comply with the dress code would have received similar treatment to the claimant.
  • The EAT found that that the law recognises the validity of contemporary standards and conventions in addition to recognising that particular professions (here the Metropolitan Police) may legitimately have particular needs as regards a dress code.
  • This decision accords with those of Smith v Safeway Plc [1996] ICR 868 and DWP v Thompson [2004] IRLR 348.

 


The transcript of this case follows:-   Dansie v. The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis [2009] UKEAT 0234_09_2010  (usually found at the Bailli or Employment Appeals websites)

Some recent employment cases:-
2009
An employment tribunal may decide if a compromise decision is unenforcable - Industrious Ltd v Horizon Recruitment Ltd & Anor [2009] UKEAT
Registrar claiming right to refuse to officiate at civil weddings loses religious discrimination case - Ladele v London Borough of Islington [2009] EWCA Civ 1357
A philosophical belief based on science is protected by the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 - Grainger Plc v Nicholson [2009] UKEAT/0219/09/ZT
Christian counsellor who would not help same sex couples was not discriminated against - McFarlane v Relate Avon Ltd [2009] UKEAT 0106_09_3011
Under TUPE the obligation to inform always applies, even when no measures are contemplated relating to the transfer - Cable Realisations Ltd v GMB Northern [2009] UKEAT
The Court of Appeal rules on Harassment and 'Oppressive and Unacceptable' behaviour

Veakins v Kier Islington Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 1288 For s4A(3) of the DDA to apply the employer must have known (or ought to have known) that the employee was disabled and that the disability would affect him in the manner described in section 4A(1) - DWP v Alam [2009] UKEAT 0242_09_0911
A discrimination case may not proceed on the mere possibility that evidence might emerge during cross examination - ABN Amro Management Services v Hogben [2009] UKEAT 0266_09_0111
In cases of discriminatory dismissal tribunals may reduce compensation if the worker would in any event have been dismissed - Chagger v Abbey National Plc & Anor [2009] EWCA Civ 1202
It is possible to claim unfair dismissal abroad even if the workplace is registered outside the UK - Diggins v Condor Marine Crewing Services Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 1133
Autoklenz 'Subcontractors' were employees - the contractual substitution clause was just 'window dressing' - Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher & Ors [2009] EWCA Civ 1046
Contract was ultra vires but employee still able to pursue unfair dimsissal claim under ERA 96 - Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust v Lairikyengbam [2009] UKEAT 0499_08_2108


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