In Ali v Capita Customer Management Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed that fathers on Shared Parental Leave (SPL) cannot be compared with mothers on maternity leave. 

The EAT's decision relied on the fact that the purpose behind legislation providing for maternity leave and pay was focused, not on providing care for the child, but protecting the well-being of a mother in pregnancy and following childbirth. 

The correct legal comparator for a man on SPL is a woman also taking SPL, not a woman on maternity leave.