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3 April 2014 0 Comments
Posted in Employment, Opinion

Discrimination and identifying an agent

Author headshot image Posted by , Partner

In Kemeh v Ministry of Defence the Court of Appeal has confirmed that common law principles should be used when determining whether an individual is an agent for the purposes of discrimination legislation. The leading authority of Yearwood v Metropolitan Police Commission remains good law, namely that while the employee of one person can also be the agent of another, there must be very strong evidence to support the contention that the duties of the employee were being undertaken as the agent for the other party. Here, there was no evidence to demonstrate the submission that a sub contractor’s employee was acting as an agent for the Claimant’s employer. This was recognised by the Court as potentially leaving the Claimant without a remedy in respect of an act of race discrimination committed by that employee.

Separately, the injury to feelings award was reduced from £12,000 to £6,000 on the basis that the Court felt that one-off incidents should fall into the lowest bracket of the Vento guidelines. In this case, the Claimant’s line manager had said to the Claimant, “shut up you dumb black bastard”.

This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.

For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222


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