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NEPOTISM: Are workplace relationship policies now Dunn with?

06 April 2012  

Benjimin Burgher considers the impact of two conflicting EAT rulings on discrimination on the ground of marital status.

Up until recently, employers have been on relatively safe ground when implementing policies precluding employment of people who are related to other employees or who are involved in close personal or sexual relationships with them. However, a review of such policies may now be necessary following the judgment of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Dunn v The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management [2011]. In this case, the EAT held that s3 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (now ss4, 8, 13 and 19 of the Equality Act 2010) covered discrimination on the grounds of marriage, which included a person who suffered discrimination on the ground that she was married to a particular person. In determining that this was the case, the EAT held that the provisions should be applied having regard to Articles 8, 12 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights 1950 (see box on p15).


Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Bedfordshire Constabulary v Graham [2001] UKEAT/1061/00

    Dunn v The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management [2011] UKEAT/0531/10DA

    Glanvill v Secretary of State for Social Services ( The Times, 29 July 1978)

    Hawkins v Atex Group Ltd & ors [2012] UKEAT/0302/11

    Igen v Wong [2005] EWCA Civ 142

    John v Neath Borough Council ET7257/90

    R (on the application of European Roma Rights Centre & ors) v Immigration Officer at Prague Airport & anor [2005] IRLR 115

    Skyrail Oceanic Ltd v Coleman [1980] ICR 596

Last modified on 15 July 2015