Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In the case of Giles v Geach and Jones t/a Cornelia Care Homes (ET/3100720/05) the Employment Tribunal held that Ms Giles’ employer had discriminated against her by imposing a requirement that she must work 25 hours per week in the office, awarding her almost £30,000 in compensation.

The facts in Giles v Geach and Jones t/a Cornelia Care Homes

Ms Giles worked for Cornelia Care Homes as a payroll clerk. She had young children and, at the commencement of her employment, worked 16 hours per week so that she could deal with her childcare responsibilities as well as her professional commitments. However, after a change to her duties she began working an additional 16 hours per week overtime, the bulk of the overtime work being undertaken from home.

In January 2005 Mr Geach approached Ms Giles and informed her that he wanted her to work full-time (35 hours per week) in the office from April 2005. Mr Geach gave no explanation as to why there needed to be a change in the working arrangements and there was no consultation on the proposed changes.

Ms Giles informed Mr Geach that she could work full-time if she was allowed to work part-time in the office and the rest of the time at home. The organisation did not reply to this request and Ms Giles subsequently handed in her notice of termination.

After Ms Giles handed in her notice of termination Cornelia Care Homes informed her that it could reduce the number of hours that she would have to work in the office to 25 hours per week, but that she must be in the office for that period of time each week. Ms Giles replied that she had previously been able to deal with queries herself by telephone or using her computer, and that she did not see why it was necessary to work 25 hours per week in the office. She submitted a flexible working request that she work 16 hours per week in the office, with the remainder to be worked at home, but this was rejected.

Ms Giles then sent a detailed grievance to the organisation complaining about the change in requirements and the lack of flexibility that the organisation was showing, but she received no response to this.

Ms Giles subsequently brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal for indirect sex discrimination.

The law relating to indirect sex discrimination

Under section 19 Equality Act 2010 indirect discrimination occurs if:

  • A policy, criterion or provision (“PCP”) is applied to B;
  • which is applied to persons with whom B does not share a protected characteristic; and
  • which puts persons with whom B shares the protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage as compared to persons who do not possess the protected characteristic; and
  • puts, or would put, B at that disadvantage; and
  • A cannot show that the PCP is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim

The decision of the Employment Tribunal

The Employment Tribunal upheld Ms Giles’ claim for indirect sex discrimination, holding:

  • That Cornelia Care Homes had imposed a PCP that she could only retain her position if she worked 25 hours full-time in the office in a job-share and no less than 25 hours per week;
  • That Ms Giles had therefore been subjected to indirect sex discrimination; and
  • That the organisation’s defence of ‘objective justification’ was not successful as there was not a legitimate aim in imposing the requirement and the means used to achieve the aim were not proportionate

The Employment Tribunal awarded the Claimant £29,294.19 in compensation, comprised of:

  • Injury to feelings: £5,000;
  • Compensation for loss of earnings: £14,495.85;
  • Increase of 40% to reflect serious breach of statutory grievance procedure: £7,798.34; and
  • Aggravated damages: £2,000

Our solicitors’ views on Giles v Geach and Jones t/a Cornelia Care Homes

Chris Hadrill, specialist employment solicitor in the employment team at Redmans, commented on the case: “This case shows that employers should think carefully before imposing any form of requirement that employees must conform to particular requirements, as this could potentially result in a successful discrimination claim being brought in the Employment Tribunal (as was the case with this claim.”


Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry


    4.80 Average

    370 Reviews

    Glyn B

    Provided a great service, covered all my requirements

    Posted 6 hours ago

    Fidel A

    Redmans Solicitors recently helped me navigate a recent employment termination settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill is very professional and you will be in good hands with him. I score Redmans 4 out of 5 because things had to move fast and felt the team member assigned to my case wasn't very responsive at times. Having said that, I was very happy with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending their services.

    Posted 23 hours ago

    Nigel A

    Chris Hadrill is hugely impressive - the right blend of assured calm and savvy professionalism. I've already recommended him to friends and family.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Matt O

    I was hugely impressed with the ease of being able to work with Redmans Solicitors and their professional approach. Mel was really clear around the process, and costings required and I felt comfortable throughout. I would certainly recommend.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Bryan G

    Great response, and also happy to assist

    Posted 1 day ago

    David L

    I was made a settlement offer by my employer to terminate my emplyment early. Redmans helped me understand the offer, and ensured that it was fair for someone in my position. They made a very stressful situation much easier. Excellent service.

    Posted 2 days ago


    I can highly recommend Redmans. The service was professional and prompt and I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks

    Posted 1 week ago


    Overall I am satisfied with the performance from Redmans. The reason I have given 4 stars is that I had quite a lot difficulty in contacting the representative which was initially nominated for me. However, when I contacted Chris instead, he was excellent over the phone and secured a great outcome in short order. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors.

    Posted 1 week ago


    Chris and Redmans were a great help. Effective and efficient, quick response from my first enquiry and then straightforward and attentive throughout with ultimately a positive outcome. I will use them again and recommend them.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Marie P

    Great service, quick responses, good advice and all in a no nonsense, no jargon manner. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    Rana was amazingly thorough and professional!

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    I am extremely happy with the legal advice I was provided with. My case was resolved to the best of my expectations. Thank you very much for your professional help.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Shahzad R

    Chris and his team were excellent. They provided sound advice and consultation that resulted in more cash than was offered. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Sanjay B

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mel Chin, for all her support during my settlement process. Where she provided a professional service and was understanding. I would confidently recommend Redmans Solicitors to my friends and family. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Paul O

    Excellent response time and communication during my dealings with Redmans

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

    Posted 1 month ago

    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago


    Very nice and patient went through the whole document with me.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Susan L

    Very helpful and led me through the redundancy process.

    Posted 1 month ago


    I was very impressed with the service that I received, and the speed in which it was handled. I would recommend them to a family member

    Posted 1 month ago