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Sweden: It was not considered discrimination to terminate the probationary employment of an employee on parental leave

An employer and employee had entered into an agreement on a probationary employment. Upon entering the agreement, the employee had informed the employer that she was pregnant and that the employee would go on parental leave towards the end of the probationary period. Prior to the expiry of the probationary period, while the employee was absent on parental leave due to the birth of the child, the employer terminated the probationary employment. Following the termination, the Equality Ombudsman claimed that the termination had been based on the employee’s pregnancy and gender and thus discriminatory. While the Court found that the termination in itself was enough to constitute discrimination, there was no evidence of circumstances suggesting that the termination had been based on a discriminatory ground. The Court deemed that there may be multiple reasons for an employer to terminate a probationary employment prior to it becoming permanent employment and that the Equality Ombudsman had failed to show any evidence suggesting that the termination had been based on any discriminatory ground. Thus, the claim was dismissed by the Labour Court.