LayerSlider – Conveyancing 26Jan18 – Base

Teacher Settles Sex Discrimination Case With Employer

Published 18 July 2019. By Kym Horner

A teacher who was overlooked for a role as Head of Department because she worked part-time, has settled a sex discrimination case against her employer.

Ms McCormick, who teaches English and Journalism, has been employed by Assumption Grammar School since 2007. Following her recent return to work from maternity leave, she availed of a temporary reduction in working hours in order to accommodate her child care arrangements.

A colleague was then appointed as temporary Head of English, a full-time role. Ms McCormick believed that she was overlooked for this post because she was working part time, and felt it was unfair that she was denied the opportunity of a temporary promotion.

The Equality Commission supported Ms McCormick in her case of sex discrimination against her employer. The School recognised that it did not give Ms McCormick the opportunity to apply or be considered for the role, and the case was settled for £5,000. The School’s Board of Governors has stated that it will liaise with the Equality Commission on appropriate training in recruitment with focus on part time workers.

How We Can Help…

Billy Muir from MKB Law’s Employment Law team, comments:

“Within Northern Ireland there is a much higher proportion of women involved in part time employment compared to males. Therefore, the exclusion of part time applicants would be more detrimental to women and could amount to indirect sex discrimination.

Employers need to be careful during any recruitment/promotion process to ensure that any criteria which excludes applicants is neither directly or indirectly discriminatory. Please contact myself or my colleagues in the Employment team if you require advice or assistance with such processes.”


Please contact MKB Law’s Employment Team on 028 9024 2450 or email

This article is for general guidance only. Source: Equality Commission

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

For more information or to arrange a consultation with a Solicitor, please complete our contact form.
Alternatively you can call us on 
028 9024 2450 or email


MKB Law Solicitors Belfast is regulated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Content is copyright © MKB Law 2017. Terms & Conditions apply.