In June 2021 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that gender critical beliefs (such as the belief that sex is biological and absolute) were philosophical beliefs and were consequently protected under the Equality Act 2021. In the case of Maya Forstater v CGD Europe UKEAT/0105/20/JOJ, CGD Europe was found liable for direct discrimination and harassment as they had failed to renew Forstater’s fellowship due to her gender-critical beliefs.
In the remedies hearing, the tribunal awarded:
- £25,000 for injury to feelings as the discriminatory acts were significant;
- £2,000 in aggravated damages due to oppressive public statement;
- £14,000 for loss of earnings (regarding the non-renewal of the fellowship);
- £50,000 for the loss of earnings and earning capacity; and
- £14,778.47 in interest.
This case highlights the difficult position in which employers may find themselves whilst attempting to balance the competing interests of employees with different protected characteristics. It is important that employers faced with such a task take a sensible and balanced approach and seek legal advice.
Please feel free to contact the Employment Team on [email protected] for any assistance.