We have two main car parks at our site, one fully paved in a new condition, other not in the best of conditions (holes, metal work from industrial items, muddy etc). It is seen by employees a benifit to park on the newer car park nearer the main office entrance. A year or so ago car parking spaces on the new car park were allocated to directors / managers / visitors / company car owners there were some left over. These remaining spaces had been issued to female only staff. At first these remaining spaces were used as a “first come, first served” basis. Now being a female allocation at the same time a few male employees chose to park in protest in the visitor spaces. This problem has been left to escalate as newer female and male staff are parking in the visitor places.
The problem has now risen after we have enforced a new parking space allocation, keeping with the directors / managers / visitors / comapany car owners. The HR manager has give the remaining spaces to all “female” employees.
We have now has several complaints about male sexual discrimination, as we moved both male and female employees from the visitor spaces and allocated all female employees a space and all male employees to move to the other car park.
After legal advice we reworded the issus as the remaining spaces be used for “vulnerable” as to get to the lesser favourable car park you would have to walk through a factory bay and may be vulnerable to “wolf whistles” etc. This has now being challenged saying the company is still sexual dicriminating against male employees for assuming female members cant cope with conditions like that and male members can.
The main car park is seen as a benefit to emplyees and we have heard rumours some male employees may take this further. The whole situation has completely blown up and as a company are we liable for sexual discrimination? Any suggestions how to resolve the problem?