An employer is in direct contravention of the principle of equal treatment embodied in Articles 2(1) and 3(1) of Council Directive 76/207/EEC of 9 February 1976 on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions if he refuses to enter into a contract of employment with a female candidate whom he considers to be suitable for the job where such refusal is based on the possible adverse consequences for him of employing a pregnant woman, owing to rules on unfitness for work adopted by the public authorities, which assimilate inability to work on account of pregnancy and confinement to inability to work on account of illness. The fact that no man applied for the job is irrelevant.
Although Directive 76/207 gives the Member States, in penalizing infringement of the prohibition of discrimination, freedom to choose between the various solutions appropriate for achieving its purpose, it nevertheless requires that, where a Member State opts for a sanction forming part of the rules on civil liability, any infringement of the prohibition of discrimination suffices in itself to make the person guilty of it fully liable, and no regard may be had to the grounds of exemption envisaged by national law.
C-177/88, R-177/88,  EUECJ R-177/88
Council Directive 76/207/EEC
Cited – Webb v EMO Air Cargo (UK) Ltd (No 1) HL 3-Mar-1993
Questions on pregnancy dismissals included unavailability at required time. The correct comparison under the Act of 1975 was between the pregnant woman and: ‘a hypothetical man who would also be unavailable at the critical time. The relevant . .
Cited – O’Neill v Governors of St Thomas More RC School and Another EAT 24-May-1996
The claimant had been dismissed as a teacher by the respondent Roman Catholic school after she became pregnant by a priest. She had been found to have been unfairly dismissed, but the tribunal had rejected her claim of discrimination for pregnancy. . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 December 2020; Ref: scu.134906