A man who was axed as Tayside’s period dignity officer is suing his employers for sex discrimination.
Jason Grant, who was hired to spread awareness of free period products, has raised a claim under the Equality Act.
The details surrounding the case could make it one of the most high-profile employment cases in the UK in recent years.
The Dundonian’s job was axed just weeks after he started amid a huge public backlash worldwide, with many believing a woman should have been hired instead.
The role was to be funded by the Scottish Government as part of a new law cementing in place the right to free feminine hygiene products — the first such measures anywhere in the world.
Alleged breach of discrimination laws
The claim, which has been lodged with the Employment Tribunal Service, alleges the decision to remove Mr Grant was taken because he is a man.
Such a move would be illegal under discrimination laws.
His lawyer describes him as an “ordinary man who successfully landed a job” but whose life has “now changed forever”.
He was hired by a working group comprising of managers from Dundee & Angus College as the “host employer”, councils in Dundee and Angus, and Perth College.
The explosive claims by Mr Grant allege the group’s treatment of him amounted to direct sex discrimination and harassment based upon his sex.
Ryan Russell is representing Mr Grant as Dundee firm MML’s head of employment.
He confirmed legal proceedings have now begun but said he cannot comment on the specifics of the case.
The solicitor however did stress it is vital that the true facts in the case come out.
He said: “I am very passionate about cases involving allegations of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act and will emphatically support Mr Grant in his pursuit of justice.
“Mr Grant is just an ordinary person who successfully applied for the role and was removed before he even got started.
“His life has now changed forever and the tribunal will forensically analyse the reason why he is no longer in the period dignity role.”
Jason Grant ‘shut out of key meetings’
Mr Grant is still currently employed at Dundee & Angus College but has been off work since the backlash began.
The claim reveals the 36-year-old, who is is yet to speak publicly on his treatment, feels he was deliberately shut out of key meetings held in the wake of the upset.
We can also reveal Dundee & Angus College has discussed placing Mr Grant in to an alternative role but senior management have expressed serious concerns about such a move.
They fear some could see it as nepotism if he was given a role which has not been advertised.
Mr Russell added: “There is a huge amount of public interest which is understandable.
“The tribunal process is going to reveal exactly what happened, the way Mr Grant was treated, and the reason he is no longer in the role.
“As we understand it, the college’s position at the present time is the removal of Mr Grant from his job was not connected to him being a man.”
Period dignity role axed due to ‘threats’
The working group is adamant the role had to be scrapped due to “threats and abuse of individuals” in the wake of his announcement.
Among those critical was tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who branded the decision to give the job to a man as “f***ing ridiculous”.
But as previously revealed the former personal trainer says he found out in the press that his role had been axed before receiving any written notification.
More details about both his treatment and the recruitment process are expected to come out now the claim has been lodged.
But The Courier can now reveal only a very limited number of people applied for the role and Mr Grant was the only man.
It’s also understood the subject of his gender was discussed during the hiring process and at interview stage but not considered a concern.
A full hearing would see all aspects of Mr Grant’s hiring and ‘firing’ revealed.
It even spawned talk show discussions on gender equality and so-called ‘mansplaining’.
A spokesperson for the period dignity working group said it would not be appropriate to comment.