Q: I work in retail. Due to COVID19 closures there have been cutbacks and we are having to reapply for our own jobs or other jobs within the organisation. I was unsuccessful when I applied for my old job, so I applied for a job in the women’s department. I didn’t get that either and although they didn’t say as much to my face, I have heard that I was considered unsuitable because I am a heterosexual male.
What they did say to me at interview was that all the other applicants were female, and they were surprised to get my application. So, it looks as if I could be left jobless, and because I only joined 14 months before being furloughed, I won’t get any redundancy pay. Have I got a case for sexual discrimination?
A: You may well have a case for sexual discrimination, but first let’s look at the redundancy issue. If your appointment started two years or more prior to the redundancy date and you have been continuously employed or furloughed with the same firm since then, you will be eligible for redundancy pay.
The entitlement amount of redundancy pay is half a week’s pay for each full year if you are under 22, one week’s full pay for each year if you are 22 – 40 and one and a half weeks pay for each full year if you are 41 or older. If you received less pay than usual because you were on furlough, your redundancy pay will still be based on the pay you would normally have earned.
Regarding sexual discrimination, you should write a comprehensive account of your interview, stating as much as you can recall of who said what, and make an appointment to see an employment lawyer who can advise you further.
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