Women on Maternity Leave Can Be Paid More than Men on Parental Leave
The Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom has concluded, in regard to joined appeals of Ali v. Capita Customer Management Limited and Chief Constable of Leicestershire v. Hextall, that women on maternity leave can be paid more than men on shared parental leave as it is neither discriminatory or a breach of equal pay legislation.
Maternity leave is available for mothers after childbirth to help with recovery and help with developing a “special bond” between mother and child. However, shared parental leave is meant to be used by parents to help facilitate allocation of childcare, not being directly linked with the mother’s condition after pregnancy. There are also other differences, one difference being that maternity leave is part compulsory, where parental leave is optional.
Fundamentally, these types of leave cannot be deemed as discriminatory because the types of leave cannot be compared. Moreover, highlighted in the Equality Act of 2010, there are special provisions which prevent claims of discrimination regarding benefits afforded to women in relation to childbirth and pregnancy.
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