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Law for Business

Knowhow - guidance - precedents

11 SEP 2012

Paid work experience requirement indirectly discriminatory

An industrial tribunal in Northern Ireland has found in the case of Crilly v Ballymagroarty Hazelbank Community Partnership that a requirement for a job candidate to have two years' paid work experience over a five-year period had a disproportionate adverse impact on women and constituted indirect sex discrimination.

The claimant had not had paid work for six years, owing to childcare responsibilities, though she had extensive high-level voluntary involvement in community development and neighbourhood regeneration. When she was not shortlisted, she claimed that the paid work experience requirement was indirectly discriminatory. The tribunal found that the five-year requirement had a disproportionate impact on women and that, although the aims underpinning the requirement were legitimate (the employer wanted someone to begin work immediately with minimal training and supervision), they were not proportionate.

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