The case of Blundell v Governing Body of St Andrews Catholic Primary School and Another , concerned a woman who claimed that she was discriminated on the grounds of her pregnancy. Regulation 18 of the Maternity and Parental Leave (etc) Regulations 1999 (“the Regulations”) provides: An employee who returns to work … is entitled to return from leave to the job in which she was employed before her absence, or, if it is not reasonably practicable for the employer to permit her to return to that job, to another job which is both suitable for her and appropriate for her to do in the circumstances’.Regulation 2(1) provides:Job” in relation to an employee returning after … maternity leave … means the nature of the work which she is employed to do in accordance with her contract and the capacity and place in which she is so employed’.The claimant was a teacher at the first respondent school. In the school year 2002 to 2003 she was given the responsibility of being a teacher for the yellow reception class. In June 2003, she told the second respondent, who was the head teacher, that she was pregnant. ird forms
The head teacher’s standard practice towards the end of the school year was to ask each teacher what their preferences were on class allocation for the coming academic year. She usually tried to keep each teacher in a particular role for two years. Having been told of the impending maternity leave, the head teacher asked the claimant if she would undertake “floating duties” in the following year.The claimant originally agreed, however, the next day told the head teacher that she did not wish to have a “floating role”. The head teacher then told the claimant that she had decided, reluctantly due to her concern about the disruption to the children, to allow the claimant to teach reception yellow again.Subsequently, on the 5th of December, before the end of the school term, the claimant took sick leave because she was suffering from a pregnancy related condition. She then had her baby in January 2004. She was not due to return to work until the start of the autumn term and the head teacher did not ask her for her preference as to class allocation in June 2004.