18th July 2008

INFORMATION
UPDATE

 Issue No.  2008/15

 Sentient
              

 

 DISCRIMINATION BY ASSOCIATION

 
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has this week confirmed that the Equal Treatment Framework Directive is intended to prohibit associative discrimination in the context of direct discrimination and harassment.

An Employee alleged she was directly discriminated against and harassed by her former employers on grounds of the disability of her son. According to the ECJ's decision, the Directive is intended to prohibit direct discrimination or harassment on grounds of disability, even where the person making the complaint is not disabled themselves.
 
This means that the Disability Discrimination Act will have to be amended to permit claims to be brought for direct discrimination and harassment on the grounds of disability by non-disabled claimants.
 
As the Directive applies to age, sexual orientation, religion and belief, as well as disability, direct discrimination by association in those other contexts must also be considered prohibited and domestic legislation will need to be reviewed and amended accordingly.
 
The immediate effect is that employees with claims against public sector organisations can rely directly on the directive.  If you are an employer in the private sector your employees will need to argue that tribunals and courts should make their decisions based on the Directive and this ECJ decision, rather than domestic legislation as currently framed.
 
Employers who have good policies in place should have little to fear from this decision.  However a good policy on its own is not enough.  This case illustrates why employers must not directly discriminate against or harass an employee where the employee is a primary carer for a disabled person.
 
 
 
TRAINING UPDATE
IOSH MANAGING SAFELY
 
27th & 28th AUGUST & 3rd & 4th SEPTEMBER
FEE: £650.00 + VAT per delegate 
Venue: Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Wetherby, Leeds
 
This is to remind you of our forthcoming ‘Managing Safely’ course accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
 
Take this valuable opportunity to raise safety awareness and give your company the competence and confidence to manage health and safety in the workplace
 
On successful completion of this course and practical project, a certificate will be awarded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
 
To book and/or receive course content details, please telephone: 08456 446 006 or email: training@sentientuk.co.uk  
 
All courses are available In-House at preferential daily rates.

 

 

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The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.

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