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Question:

Provide appropriately reasoned and structured advice on employment law topics

by | Jun 20, 2022 | Recent Orders

Natalie runs a company employing about 30 people and one of her Admin team, Hilary, has made a formal complaint to her. Hilary has complained that her manager Tom, has done nothing to stop these comments and in fact told her that if she complained again, he would sack her.

The comments centre around what Hilary wears. She has always worn smart clothes to work, usually a low-cut top and jacket with a short skirt. Last month she announced that she was pregnant and this is when things started to get unpleasant for her. She has been subjected to unjustified comments about whether her husband is the baby’s father, seen emails about her love life circulating around the office and generally has to put up with some comments and gestures about her pregnancy.

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She found it all really distressing and very upsetting. She spoke to her manager to ask him to calm it all down. He refused to do this saying that she dressed like a tart and had to expect the consequences and that she was being too sensitive. He told her to get on with it, stop complaining and do her job.

She really struggles to come into work and then comments haven’t really died down. Natalie has spoken to Tom who says that it is just office banter and that Hilary has to toughen up.

Advise Natalie whether Hilary has grounds for a claim for harassment, what the company’s liability might be and what she can do now to stop this going any further.

 

Following on from all of this, Natalie decided that it would be a good idea to introduce a dress code for her employees as she felt that they needed smartening up. She particularly dislikes head coverings and has noticed that some men are wearing hats in the office, so she is thinking of banning all head coverings so that they can look smarter. She has noticed as well that some men are not trimming or tidying their beards and that they look untidy.

She is therefore also proposing to ban all moustaches and beards.

She is convinced that their appearance when dealing with potential clients is putting them off and so she wants to smarten everyone up to attract more business.

She has told her employees that the new dress code starts next month and she has already received complaints from 3 male Sikh employees who say that they are not able to comply with this new policy. She told them that if they don’t, they are more than welcome to resign, work their notice and find new jobs. Alternatively, she has told them that she has some back-office jobs, at a lower salary, that they could move to so that they would not then be client facing.

Advise the men whether they are likely to succeed in any discrimination claims

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes that are being assessed in this assessment are highlighted in red below:
Provide appropriately reasoned and structured advice on employment law topics

Select and apply a range of relevant primary and secondary source material to support the provision of advice
Successfully select and apply concepts, principles and knowledge to devise, sustain and structure an argument in relation to employment law

Effectively analyse, synthesise and critically evaluate a wide range of resources including current research, academic publications and relevant and appropriate primary and secondary sources to support an argument

Coherently integrate reference to the operation of employment law in the wider social, political and economic context
Convey complex information clearly and concisely to a professional standard in good quality English using relevant terminology and accurate referencing

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