12 October 2011 #Employment
Following their dramatic exit from last weekend’s X Factor live shows, one half of the band `2 Shoes`, Charley Bird, has given an interview (reported on the Mail Online website) stating that it would be `really, really wrong` if her pregnancy was the reason that judge Tulisa Contostavlos chose to send the group home.
However, Charley said she did not actually think that her pregnancy was the reason Tulisa selected the band to leave the competition. After telling the band they were going home, Tulisa told them to “keep going and they`ll be successful no matter what they do”.
Pregnancy and maternity is one of nine "protected characteristics" covered by the Equality Act 2010. The Act states that it is unlawful to treat a female job applicant or employee unfavourably during a protected period (which starts when the pregnancy commences) because of her pregnancy. The definition of employee under the Act is wider than for unfair dismissal purposes and will include all workers who are under a contract to personally do work. The pregnancy does not have to be the only reason for her treatment, but it does have to be an important factor or effective cause.
This is not the first time that one of Simon Cowell’s shows has found itself at the centre of a discrimination row. Last year a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent brought a claim of disability discrimination in the Employment Tribunal (see Buddy’s previous blog post). Her claim was struck out at a Pre Hearing Review as the Tribunal found she did not have the required employment status.