Posted by Gemma Ospedale, Partner
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Vague complaints of discrimination insufficient to constitute victimisation
In Durrani v London Borough of Ealing, the EAT has held that a non-specific complaint of “discrimination”, meaning unfair treatment, but which is not linked to a protected characteristic, was not a protected act for the purposes of victimisation claim.
Shortly before he was dismissed, the Claimant submitted a grievance complaining of bullying and harassment and mentioning the word “discrimination”. This was later clarified as the Claimant effectively being used as a scapegoat but not on the grounds of race or any other protected characteristic. His Employment Tribunal claims, including complaints of harassment, victimisation, and discrimination, were all unsuccessful. The EAT upheld the Tribunal’s decision to strike out the victimisation claims on the basis that there was no protected act and therefore no victimisation claim because there had never been an assertion that the unfair treatment was on the grounds of either race or any other protected characteristic. This was fatal to the victimisation claim.
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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