Employment Law Solutions. Expert advice... more personal

Father wins compensation for shared parental pay discrimination claim

An Employment Tribunal in the case of Snell v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd has awarded a claimant compensation arising out of a discriminatory shared parental leave policy.


The Claimant and his wife both worked for Network Rail and opted to take shared parental leave when their baby was born.

After completing the relevant application forms, it came to light that the Claimant’s wife would receive full pay for the six months’ leave she had opted for but the Claimant would only be entitled to receive statutory parental pay.

The Claimant submitted a grievance to Network Rail stating that due to the substantial difference in rates between fathers and mothers taking shared parental leave, he believed that he was being discriminated against on the grounds of his sex.

Network Rail dismissed the Claimant’s grievance and subsequent appeal and he proceeded to lodge a claim at the Employment Tribunal for indirect sex discrimination.

Employment Tribunal

By the time of the hearing, Network Rail had already conceded that the policy on shared parental pay was indirectly discriminatory and had amended its policy so that mothers and fathers both received just the statutory shared parental pay only.

The Claimant was awarded almost £30,000 as compensation including a £6000 payment for injury to feelings.


Although this is only a first instance decision and not binding, employers should check that any shared parental pay policy does not favour mothers over fathers. It would also be advisable for organisations to consider whether the maternity pay offered is more favourable than shared parental pay as this could also, arguably, lead to discrimination claims.

For more information or advice, please feel free to email us  or contact us on 0191 282 2880 for a no obligation chat.

This entry was posted in Law. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.