Scotland's male 'period dignity officer' takes legal action under Equality Act after post is scrapped following backlash

8 September 2022, 07:32

Mr Grant had said he was "buzzing" about being appointed
Mr Grant had said he was "buzzing" about being appointed. Picture: Grainger PR/Alamy

By Will Taylor

A man who took up the role of "period dignity officer" in Scotland has taken legal action after his role was scrapped following backlash because it was not given to a woman.

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Jason Grant, a former personal trainer from Dundee, was hired in Tayside in August on a salary worth somewhere around £33,000 and £36,000 a year.

His role included promoting access to free sanitary products after the Period Products Act came into force in Scotland on Monday.

But a backlash, which included former tennis star Martina Navratilova, has seen the role get scrapped after Tayside's period dignity working group said it had endured "threats and abuse".

The group is made up of representatives from Dundee and Angus College, Perth College, Angus Council and Dundee City Council.

Mr Grant is now pursuing a legal claim under the Equality Act, possibly using a sexual discrimination claim.

Read more: 'Someone's taking the p***': Fury as Scotland's first ever male period dignity officer is appointed

Ryan Russell, of MML Legal, who has taken up his case, said: "The partnership chose to remain completely silent in the last few weeks until publicly announcing his dismissal from the post.

"During this time, the partnership said nothing whilst Jason came under constant attack from all around the globe.

"There are many legal issues arising not only from his appointment but in the decisions that have been made not to support Jason or stand by their appointment which could impact his health, career and future prospects.

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"If Jason was not a man, would he have been dismissed from the role? How would you feel if this was a member of your family."

A spokeswoman for the group, which combines representatives from local councils and colleges, said before the challenge: "It is regrettable that given the threats and abuse levelled at individuals in recent weeks, the period dignity regional lead officer role will not continue.

"Meanwhile, support will continue to be provided to the colleagues and students who have been subjected to personal attack. Their safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance."

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova described the decision to appoint him as "absurd", while British actress Frances Barber said she was "fuming".