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18 July 2019 | Comment | Article by Louise Price

Brewery campaign to “highlight the gender pay gap” backfires into sex discrimination case

A campaign by the Brewdog brewery to “highlight the gender pay gap” has backfired after a man successfully sued them. This was following him being told he could not order a pink ale, offered by the brewery at a discount but only to those identifying as female.

The man in question was eventually served the drink by bar staff but only after he identified as a female.

A judge in Cardiff has now awarded the man £1,000 on the basis that he had been directly discriminated against by the brewery because of his sex. The fact that he had been able to purchase the drink after identifying as female made no difference to the fact that his treatment constituted direct discrimination.

This case is a useful reminder of the reach of the Equality Act 2010 which prohibits service providers, in this case, the brewery, from treating a service user less favourably than they treat or would treat others, because of a protected characteristic, in this case, the customer’s gender.

Author bio

Louise Price


A highly specialised lawyer, Louise is a Partner and Head of Employment and HR services. Her expertise includes corporate support work, TUPE, pensions and employee benefits advice. She regularly advises private, public and third sector clients regarding large scale TUPE transfers of staff including drafting indemnities and warranties, advising on potential employment and pension liabilities, information and consultation obligations, and providing best value guidance.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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