Devon and Cornwall Police v Town (Sex Discrimination): EAT 10 Sep 2020

The Claimant was a police officer who was transferred from her Response Team to the Crime Management Hub after she became pregnant. There had been a risk assessment indicating that she could safely remain with the Response Team if certain adjustments were made but the Devon and Cornwell Police had a general policy that police officers on restricted duties would be transferred to the Hub and the risk assessment was ignored. The ET found that the police had discriminated against her (a) on grounds of pregnancy under section 18 EqA 2010 and (b) indirectly on grounds of her sex under section 19, on the basis that women were more susceptible to enforced transfer under the policy because pregnancy ( as well as ill health) would lead to the application of the policy.
The police appealed saying (a) that the relevant treatment for the purpose of section 18 was removing her from danger and was not therefore unfavourable and (b) that any ‘particular disadvantage’ under section 19 was suffered by pregnant women and not women in general.
The appeal failed on both grounds:
(a) The treatment of which the Claimant complained was not that she had been removed from danger but that she had been transferred to the Hub which she did not want and which made her ill. The ET had found as facts that this treatment was unfavourable and that it was because she was pregnant.
(b) It was not necessary for the purpose of section 19 that all women suffered from the particular disadvantage if women as a group were more likely to be subject to an enforced transfer because of the PCP


[2020] UKEAT 0194 – 19 – 1009




England and Wales

Employment, Discrimination

Updated: 06 December 2022; Ref: scu.661652