Case 2: The facts
Claire Spencer complained of constant discriminatory actions taken against her by colleagues and managers, but no action was taken to halt it. She went on maternity leave, during which she naturally did not experience the discrimination. But she returned to work to find that nothing had changed - the discriminatory remarks aimed at her continued.
Spencer resigned and claimed to have been discriminated against. The issue was whether she submitted her claim in time. Crucial to this was whether she could claim to have been continually discriminated against right until the moment that her employment ended, even though there had been no incidents immediately preceding that time.
Because this was a case of continuing discrimination, the EAT held that the discrimination continued until the last day of Spencer's employment, not until the date on which the last incident had occurred. A period of maternity leave does not break continuity of the discriminatory action, any more than a weekend break away from work or a holiday would.
Spencer v HM Prison Service UKEAT/0812/02