EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, and election
Brexit page updated for these: See Brexit>Where we are.
Leaving EU membership (exit day) has now been postponed to 31st January 2020, or earlier if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified in 2019.
Under the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, now pulled from Parliament, broadly European Union law would continue to apply in the UK until the end of the implementation period, say 31st December 2020. After the end of that period, called the “IP completion day”, EU-related law including the Equality Act would continue to apply but could largely be amended by Parliament without being bound by EU law – subject to any future UK-EU agreement.
However it seems Northern Ireland would still be bound by the current EU directive on disability discrimination.
Early conciliation page updated generally, and also noted that similar scheme to be introduced in Northern Ireland from January 2020.
Voice risk analysis
Voice risk analysis page updated. Voice risk analysis (“lie detector” or “VRA”) technology is sometimes used in telephone calls on insurance claims, and by some local authorities. VRA aims to spot people who are more likely to be giving false information. This may unfairly disadvantage people who stammer.
Discrimination by association
Discrimination by association page updated, including for discrimination by association being extended to indirect discrimination and perhaps to victimisation. Also some related pages created or updated:
- CHEZ v Komisia za zashtita ot diskriminatsia, 2015, EU court case on indirect discrimination ‘by association’.
- Lee v Ashers Baking (‘gay cake’ case), Supreme Court, 2018.
- As mentioned below, Victimisation ‘by association’? following the case of Thompson v London Central Bus, EAT, 2015.
- Coleman v Attridge Law page updated.
EU Framework Employment Directive
EU Framework Employment Directive page partially updated, including:
- new examples under Where may EU law be influencing UK law now? and
- changes to the “Horizontal” direct effect section (and to the separate page on Kücükdeveci v Swedex) to reflect the 2015 Court of Appeal decision in Benkharbouche.
European court reference on right to substitute
Under British legislation a right to substitute someone else to do one’s work (unless sufficiently limited) is likely to mean one is not within the employment provisions of the Equality Act.
The Watford Employment Tribunal is referring a case to the EU Court of Justice which may decide whether this is compatible with European law: Employees, workers and beyond>Yodel case: European Court reference.
‘Stammering pride and prejudice’: article
Link to The origins of stammering pride and prejudice (stamma.org), by co-editor Patrick Campbell, about the origins of the new book to be launched on Friday 27th September.
Some updates to the victimisation page. Victimisation is broadly where a person is ‘punished’ in some way for making a claim under the Equality Act, or for doing some other protected act.
- Peninsula v Baker, 2017, which may limit victimisation claims by requiring the decision-maker to know of the particular communiction, but I think it is wrong on this point. Discussed in Victimisation>Is knowledge of a specific protected act required?
- Victimisation ‘by association’? following the case of Thompson v London Central Bus, EAT, 2015.
Link to a student’s experience in Don’t be afraid of the student disability service (stamma.org), 2019, and a further article on student disability services Do not ride your uni education, steer it (stamma.org), 2019. Linked from Resolving issues at university or FE college.
Harassment of employees
Harassment of employees page updated to include:
- Unite the Union v Nailard, Court of Appeal, 2018 on harassment by third parties: Harassment of employees>Harassment by third parties, such as customers or suppliers;
- Ahmed v Cardinal Hume Academies, EAT, 2019 – it must be reasonable for the conduct to be regarded as having a humiliating etc effect: Harassment of employees>Subjective perceptions – being too sensitive?;
- Guidance from the British Stammering Association: Bullying at work (stamma.org);
- Small changes to wording on the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, including its possible use for harassment by third parties.
Compensation: impact on individual
Short note added on EAT decision in Komeng v Creative Support (bailii.org), 2019. In deciding the compensation for injury to feelings, the employment tribunal should focus on the impact of the discrimination on the individual concerned rather than the gravity of the acts. We are all different. See Remedies in employment disputes>Injury to feelings: the ‘Vento bands’.
- Previous updates: Website updates July to August 2019.