Humphreys v Revenue and Customs: SC 16 May 2012

Separated parents shared the care of their child. The father complained that all the Child Tax Credit was given to the mother.
Held: The appeal failed. Although the rule does happen to be indirectly discriminatory against fathers, the complaint would be exactly the same if it did not discriminate between the sexes. Mothers who share the care of their children for a shorter period each week while living on subsistence level benefits have exactly the same problem. The real object of the complaint is the discrimination between majority and minority shared carers. The test for justification in state benefits cases is whether it was ‘manifestly without reasonable foundation’. The ‘no-splitting’ rule is a reasonable rule for the state to adopt and the indirect sex discrimination is justified.
Lady Hale said that the normally strict test for justification of sex discrimination in the enjoyment of the Convention rights gives way to the ‘manifestly without reasonable foundation’ test in the context of welfare benefits.

Lord Walker, Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed
[2012] UKSC 18, UKSC 2010/0097, [2012] PTSR 1024, [2012] Eq LR 714, [2012] 1 WLR 1545, [2012] 3 FCR 403, [2012] HRLR 21, [2012] 4 All ER 27, [2012] STI 1664
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC Summary, SC
Tax Credits Act 2002, European Convention on Human Rights 14
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRJM, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 22-Oct-2008
The 1987 Regulations provided additional benefits for disabled persons, but excluded from benefit those who had nowhere to sleep. The claimant said this was irrational. He had been receiving the disability premium to his benefits, but this was . .
At Upper Tribunal(Un-named) (Tax Credits) UTAA 4-Feb-2009
. .
Appeal fromHumphreys v Revenue and Customs CA 11-Feb-2010
The court was asked as to entitlement to child tax credit where parents were separated but shared the care of the children.
Held: The discretion to be accorded to the legislature or executive is especially wide where the discrimination is . .
CitedRegina (Barber) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Admn 17-Jul-2002
The claimant challenged the refusal of the respondent, under authority of the regulations, to divide payment of child benefit between himself and his former partner. The child stayed with both parents. Other benefits flowed from the allocation of . .
CitedFord, Regina (on the Application Of) v Inland Revenue Admn 19-May-2005
Payment of child benefit where parents shared care.
Held: Where there was morethan one child, HMRC has a discretion to decide who should have it, without any statutory test (Sched 10, para 5 of the 1992 Act), and may, therefore, allocate the . .
CitedHockenjos v Secretary of State for Social Security (No 2) CA 21-Dec-2004
The claimant shared child care with his former partner, but claimed that the system which gave the job-seeker’s child care supplement to one party only was discriminatory.
Held: In such cases the supplement usually went to the mother, and this . .
CitedJames and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 21-Feb-1986
The claimants challenged the 1967 Act, saying that it deprived them of their property rights when lessees were given the power to purchase the freehold reversion.
Held: Article 1 (P1-1) in substance guarantees the right of property. Allowing a . .
CitedCarson, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; Reynolds v Same HL 26-May-2005
One claimant said that as a foreign resident pensioner, she had been excluded from the annual uprating of state retirement pension, and that this was an infringement of her human rights. Another complained at the lower levels of job-seeker’s . .
CitedCarson and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 16-Mar-2010
(Grand Chamber) The court ruled admissible claims against the United Kingdom by 13 persons entitled to British State pensions for violation of article 14 of the Convention in combination with article 1 of the First Protocol. All the claimants had . .
CitedStec and Others v United Kingdom ECHR 12-Apr-2006
(Grand Chamber) The claimants said that differences between the sexes in the payment of reduced earning allowances and retirement allowances were sex discrimination.
Held: The differences were not infringing sex discrimination. The differences . .
CitedCarson and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 4-Nov-2008
(Grand Chamber) Pensioners who had moved abroad complained that they had been excluded from the index-linked uprating of pensions given to pensioners living in England.
Held: This was not an infringement of their human rights. Differences in . .
CitedRunkee And White v The United Kingdom ECHR 10-May-2007
The claimant said that the rules which denied him a widow’s pension were sex discrimination.
Held: The normally strict test for justification of sex discrimination in the enjoyment of the Convention rights gives way to the ‘manifestly without . .

Cited by:
CitedAlvi, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 18-Jul-2012
The claimant had entered as a student, and then stayed under a work permit. New rules were brought in, and because his occupation as a physiotherapy assistant was not listed, he was not credited with sufficient points for a permit. The Court of . .
CitedSG and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions SC 18-Mar-2015
The court was asked whether it was lawful for the Secretary of State to make subordinate legislation imposing a cap on the amount of welfare benefits which can be received by claimants in non-working households, equivalent to the net median earnings . .
CitedBrewster, Re Application for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) SC 8-Feb-2017
Survivor of unmarried partner entitled to pension
The claimant appealed against the rejection of her claim to the survivor’s pension after the death of her longstanding partner, even though they had not been married. The rules said that she had to have been nominated by her partner, but he had not . .
CitedTigere, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills SC 29-Jul-2015
After increasing university fees, the student loan system was part funded by the government. They introduced limits to the availability of such loans, and a student must have been lawfully ordinarily resident in the UK for three years before the day . .
CitedTigere, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills SC 29-Jul-2015
After increasing university fees, the student loan system was part funded by the government. They introduced limits to the availability of such loans, and a student must have been lawfully ordinarily resident in the UK for three years before the day . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Discrimination, Benefits

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.457750