This wasn’t a case of sexism but a case of the police force discriminating against a mother of two who asked for flexible work hours so she could juggle a career and motherhood. She had been given a promotion in the police which was then taken away after she’d asked for the flexible hours.
The BBC reports how Hampshire Police have to pay just over £11,000 to Mrs Burden for her loss of earnings, pension and injury to her feelings. All employees with 26 weeks or more service will be allowed to request flexible working, which employers in turn must address in a ‘reasonable manner’. An employer can turn down your request if it affects how well you can do the job.
What is flexible working? It is a variation of your working pattern, such as working from home, part-time working, flexi-time, job sharing and shift working.
The Human Rights Act also provides protection for people’s family life with Article 8 stating:
Everyone has the right to respect for his of her private and family life, home and correspondence. This right is subject to proportionate and lawful restrictions.
Article 8 is a broad-ranging right that is often closely connected with other rights such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to respect for property. The government is forced under Article 8 to not interfere with the right itself and also to take some positive measures, for example, to criminalise extreme breaches of the right to a private life by private individuals.