The case of B v A provides yet another example of a dismissal due to an office affair being unfair but not sex discrimination. In this case, the EAT held that a tribunal had wrongly applied a "but for" test when finding that the dismissal by a solicitor of his personal assistant, with whom he had been involved in an intimate relationship, was an act of sex discrimination. The dismissal was prompted by the solicitor's jealousy on discovering that his assistant was having an affair with a younger man.
There have been several cases over the years falling into a category of “dismissed former lovers”, which have consistently failed on the basis of direct sex discrimination. However, question whether, depending on the facts of a given case, it may be possible to argue that a dismissal prompted by the end of a relationship amounts to harassment under section 4A(1) SDA. If a relationship ends and the spurned party reacts by dismissing the other, then there has arguably been less favourable treatment (because the dismissal was on the ground of rejection of unwanted conduct of a sexual nature). In light of the forthcoming changes to s4A (see above), this would appear to be an option more likely to be pursued in future.