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Angela Fox v (1) Michael Rangecroft (2) Elmbridge Borough Council

Section 63A of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 required that an employee had to prove on the balance of probabilities primary facts from which the employment tribunal could conclude that an employer had performed discriminatory acts. The tribunal would assess whether the inference of discrimination could be drawn, and in performing that task, could assume there was no adequate explanation for those facts. If an inference of discrimination was not drawn in that way, the employee would lose, and only where there was such an inference would the burden of persuasion move to the employer.

28 July 2006

The appellant employee (F) appealed against the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal upholding the employment tribunal’s dismissal of her complaints of sexual discrimination. F had been employed by the second respondent local authority (E) as a project manager. As a result of her poor performance in that role, her line manager, the first respondent, had taken over her management responsibilities. F subsequently complained to the employment tribunal of sex discrimination. The tribunal considered the requirements of s 63A of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and found that the burden of proof would be reversed and fall upon an employer to show that acts had not been discriminatory only where an employee had proved the primary facts from which an inference of discrimination could be drawn. The tribunal found that F had not succeeded in proving any facts from which it could conclude that E had committed acts of discrimination, as there was no evidence before it of a relevant compa...

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