In April last year London Central Employment Tribunal unanimously decided that senior Met officers had directly discriminated against, and victimised one of their Chief Inspectors, Mr Denby on grounds of his sex.
This week all concerned, including Pattinson & Brewer employment lawyer, Sarah Bains who successfully represented Mr Denby in round 1, go back to ‘court’ for round 2, as the Met try to overturn the decision.
The case, supported by the Police Federation, attracted widespread media attention, in part because claims of sex discrimination are, largely, brought by women. Mr Denby falls into a small group of male police officers who have brought and won such claims (only seven). The fact that the case also involved an incident with a policeman in nothing but a towel (not Mr Denby I hasten to add), no doubt gave it added press attraction.
However, the case is not about towels. It is about the important principle that gender discrimination laws are for everyone.
Without question, it is women rather than men who are more likely to be on the receiving end of gender discrimination but when it does happen to men, they have just as much right to fight their corner.
Assuming Mr Denby holds on to his hard fought victory, and we are confident in his case, the Met may want to consider throwing in the towel.