I work in the NHS and a requirement of my role is that I work on-call and bank holidays. We all submit requests around when we would like to work and my requests are based around childcare as I’m a single parent with a small support network. I have been told that I am no longer able to request particular days to work on-call or particular bank holiday days and shifts will just be allocated regardless of whether or not I have childcare. Can my employer do this?
It seems to me that in this case it is a question of whether the employer is able to justify what, on the face of it, might amount to indirect discrimination on the ground of sex due to women normally being the main child carers and thus the policy, criterion or practice being more onerous on a particular group of people.
So, in my view, yes, they can do it if they are able to justify it on grounds that are non-discriminatory.