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Post employment victimisation is covered by Equality Act
In a decision which runs counter to previous authority the EAT, in Onu v Akwiwu and another held that the Equality Act does cover post employment victimisation, overturning the Tribunal’s finding that a migrant domestic worker had not suffered victimisation when threats were issued to her sister after she lodged a race discrimination claim against her former employers. The EAT acknowledged that the Equality Act does not expressly provide full protection from victimisation for former employees but acknowledged that European obligations require domestic law to do so. It held however that as a matter of domestic statutory construction the Equality Act could be interpreted as providing for a claim of post employment victimisation. It held that the relevant section covering victimisation in the Equality Act could be interpreted to include acts of victimisation which took place after the employment relationship has ended.
This means that there are now conflicting decisions in the EAT on whether or not there is post employment victimisation covered under the Equality Act. The Court of Appeal will hear the appeal in Rowstock Limited and another v Jessemey later this year. This case was reported in a recent edition of the Update.
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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