It accepted that men are being encouraged to play a greater role in caring for their babies.
The employment tribunal believed that the role of primary carer is a matter of choice for the parents, but that the choice should be free of “generalised assumptions” that the mother is always best placed to undertake the primary role and should get full pay.
According to Mr Ali, this was not a valid assumption to make in 2016.
The employment tribunal upheld Mr Ali’s sex discrimination complaint in Ali v Capita Customer Management Ltd.
While accepting that two weeks’ maternity leave is compulsory for new mothers, Mr Ali argued that, for the next 12 weeks, male employees should be given the same right to leave on enhanced pay as female employees.
The only defence would be to prove that there was no sex discrimination.According to the tribunal, in this case Mr Ali was best placed to perform that role, given his wife’s post-natal depression. The Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 provides that you cannot treat a worker less favourably than others because of their sex.An Industrial Tribunal has the power to decide the particular circumstances of a hypothetical comparator (such as their personality).You could be liable for direct discrimination even if you did not intend to discriminate against your employee.Mr Ali was able to take fully paid paternity leave for the first two weeks following the birth of his child, followed by a number of weeks’ annual leave.