Recruitment manager Jennifer Newman has won nearly £30,000 in damages after being subjected to a campaign of sexual harassment and then being sacked from her position at Hydro Cleansing.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 3   Evening Standard, Page: 3   Daily Express, Page: 9


In Hounga v Allen and anor the Supreme Court has held that a domestic worker could claim race discrimination, despite working illegally in the United Kingdom. The connection between the illegality and the statutory tort of discriminatory treatment was insufficiently close to bar her claim. Furthermore, in the view of the majority of the Court, public policy against human trafficking outweighed any public policy consideration in support of applying the defence of illegality in this case. An illegal immigrant is still barred from bringin a claim for unfair dismissal though.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has ruled that the use of all-female shortlists to get more women in the boardroom is unlawful under equality law. The EHRC’s guidance said: “It constitutes unlawful sex discrimination to select a person for a role because of their gender. The law does not permit positive discrimination when making an appointment or a promotion. However, the law provides scope for companies to address any disadvantage or disproportionately low participation on boards by enabling or encouraging applications from a particular gender, provided selection is made on merit.” The rejection of women-only lists was supported by the Institute of Directors. Oliver Parry, the IoD’s corporate governance adviser, said: “We hope that the guidance issued today will help boards to appoint more women through measures including aspirational targets, wider advertising for posts and mentoring and shadowing programmes.”

In Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund (C-354/13) the Advocate General has given the opinion that obesity may amount to a disability for the purposes of the EU Equal Treatment Framework Directive (No.2000/78) but only if it is ‘severe’. The Advocate General thought it probable that only obesity with a body mass index (BMI) of over 40 would hinder an individual’s participation in professional life to such an extent as to amount to a disability. He also rejected the argument that there is a freestanding prohibition in EU law on discrimination on the ground of obesity per se.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (Commencement No. 6, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2014 SI 2014/416 has now been published. The Order brings into effect S.66 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, which abolishes the statutory discrimination questionnaires contained in the Equality Act 2010. The change takes effect on 6 April 2014 in relation to acts of discrimination occurring on or after that date.

A complainant may still ask questions of the respondent and a court or tribunal can still draw adverse inferences from a refusal to respond or from evasive answers, despite the lack of any provision for a statutory questionnaire.

It is somewhat surprising that this has been implemented given the vast majority of those who participated in the consultation opposed the abolition. Another example of the Government’s agenda against Claimants; the Poor and the vulnerable, we wonder.



Unison Judicial Review against Employment Tribunal Fees Unsuccessful

The administrative court has dismissed Unison’s judicial review application challenging the introduction of fees for bringing employment tribunal claims.

Very very disappointing.

Birmingham Mail reports Tribunal finds in favour of West Midlands Ambulance NHS Trust employee with MS

The Birmingham Mail reports that the Birmingham Employment Tribunal finds in favour of one of our clients who was unfairly dismissed and subjected to Disability Discrimination.