An Employment Tribunal has rejected a male employee’s claim for direct and indirect sex discrimination following his employer’s (Ford Motor Company) failure to pay enhanced additional paternity pay. The Tribunal rejected the employee’s argument that the correct comparator was a woman who was on maternity leave after 20 weeks following the birth of a child, that being the earliest time a mother could return to work and transfer her leave entitlement. Instead, the Tribunal found that the correct comparator was a female applicant for additional paternity leave (a female spouse or civil partner) and found that that applicant would have been treated no differently to the male employee in this case.
Owing to concessions in respect of the indirect discrimination claim, the only issue for the Tribunal to consider was justification. Ford paid women full basic pay when on maternity leave. On the evidence, the Tribunal found that the policy and practice was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim of recruiting and retaining women in a male dominated workforce.