Two related cases on discrimination are to be referred to the ECJ. In Kulikauskas v Macduff Shellfish (Scotland) Ltd, Mr Kulikauskas alleged that he was dismissed after helping his partner lift heavy weights because she was pregnant.
The ECJ has been asked to clarify whether it is unlawful discrimination to treat a person (A) less favourably on the grounds of a woman’s (B’s) pregnancy (known as ‘associative pregnancy discrimination’). The second case (C-D v S-T) seeks clarification on whether an employee who becomes a mother through a surrogacy arrangement is entitled to maternity leave and other maternity benefits, since domestic and European law do not explicitly deal with surrogacy. In this case a woman who became a mother through a surrogacy arrangement within an hour of the baby’s birth was refused ‘surrogacy leave’ and instead offered a career break, unpaid leave and extended holiday. The ECJ has also been asked to clarify whether this could be associative pregnancy discrimination because of the surrogate’s pregnancy.