Discrimination and Diversity for Local Government Employers

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Quick Facts

9th January 2024

  • The National Joint Council (NJC) for local government services National Agreement on Pay and Conditions of Service (the NJC agreement) contains requirements and advice on meeting equal pay legislation and good practice. This includes the use of job evaluation. Equal Pay Issues and Local Government

  • There is important case law on whether equal pay claims can be made by local government employees citing employees of a different council as comparators in equal pay claims.

  • The Local Government Association has developed The Equality Framework for Local Government to help local authorities, in discussion with local partners, review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Framework for Local Government

  • The NJC agreement includes advice on the terms and conditions of part-time workers. Part-time Workers in Local Government

  • The NJC agreement includes advice on positive action to tackle discrimination. Positive Action to Tackle Discrimination

  • In operating NJC terms and conditions, local government employers need to be aware of a number of issues relating to age discrimination legislation. Age Discrimination and National Terms and Conditions

  • There are age discrimination issues affecting local authorities’ ability to make enhanced redundancy payments under the Local Government (Early Termination of Employment) (Discretionary Compensation) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006.

  • The NJC agreement includes advice on recruitment. Recruitment in Local Authorities

  • The NJC agreement includes advice on dealing with harassment. Dealing with Harassment

Summary

This topic sets out legal and good practice requirements and advice on discrimination and diversity which are specific to local authorities. Many of these relate to the relationship between national terms and conditions of employment (which most local authorities adhere to) and the law on discrimination.

Note:

This topic does not cover issues which affect the wider public sector (including local government), such as the Public Sector Equality Duties (which are covered in a separate topic). Some of the advice referred to would not, strictly speaking, apply to local government employers who do not operate national terms and conditions, although it may still be useful to them.

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Case Reports

Miller v University of Bristol

Anti-Zionist beliefs found to be a protected philosophical belief, and dismissal for manifesting them was direct discrimination and a disproportionate response.

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Finn v The British Bung Manufacturing Company Limited — Discrimination: Harassment

An employment tribunal has concluded that calling an employee “bald” amounts to unlawful harassment.

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Earl Shilton Town Council v Miller - Sex discrimination: inherent reason for treatment

Permitting unequal access to toilets and toilet facilities between male and female members of staff can amount to direct sex discrimination, when the inherent reason for less favourable treatment is that of sex.

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Ellis v Bacon - Marriage discrimination: married, or married to?

The EAT was asked to consider if the ET had erred in law in finding that the claimant had been the victim of marriage discrimination; it found the correct question to ask was; was the less favourable treatment because she was married, not (as found by the ET) because of whom she was married to?

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Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police - Discrimination claims: calculating the award

The Court of Appeal offers guidance on awards for injury to feelings in discrimination cases.

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Forstater v CGD Europe - Discrimination: Philosophical belief

In a complex case, that has gone from Employment Tribunal (ET) to Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), and back to ET again, it has been held that the claimant was directly discriminated against and victimised following tweets that they made which expressed gender-critical views.

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This topic sets out legal and good practice requirements and advice on discrimination and diversity which are specific to local authorities. Many of these relate to the relationship between national terms and conditions of employment (which most local authorities adhere to) and the law on discrimination.

Note:

This topic does not cover issues which affect the wider public sector (including local government), such as the Public Sector Equality Duties (which are covered in a separate topic). Some of the advice referred to would not, strictly speaking, apply to local government employers who do not operate national terms and conditions, although it may still be useful to them.

Quick Facts

In-depth