Press Release

MP welcomes European carers decision.

31st January 2008

Dr Hywel Francis Member of Parliament for Aberavon and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Carers Group has welcomed the decision made at the European Court of Justice in support of Sharon Coleman who as a carer of a disabled child suffered "discrimination by association" by her employer the London law firm Attridge Law.

Dr Francis said

'As the sponsor of the Carers Equal Opportunities Act 2004 which recognises the employment needs of carers I support Sharon Coleman and disapprove of the actions of her employer for treating her less favourably that other parents of non-disabled children.

'Sharon was discriminated against and harassed by her employers because she had a disabled son. This attitude in the workforce is unacceptable and I congratulate Ms Coleman on her courage and tenacity in challenging this behaviour.

'This is a positive step towards true equality in the workplace for carers. Too many carers face discrimination at work, and this landmark legal opinion means that employers will have to alter the way they treat carers in their workforce.

Dr Francis added

'I intend to invite Ms Coleman and her son to visit the House of Commons to meet with other carers and carers organisations along with MPs of all parties to discuss the wider significance of this decision by the European Advocate General'.

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