Winckworth Sherwood

UK 200 2013 position: 94

Does the Equality Act 2010 cover post-employment victimisation? (Yes)

In July 2013, Walker Morris reported on the outcome of the case of Onu v Akwiwu, in which the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) found that the Equality Act covers post-employment victimisation. This conflicted with a parallel EAT decision in Jessemey v Rowstock, in which the EAT found that it did not.

Having heard both cases together (although giving a judgment in the latter case only), the Court of Appeal has now ruled that post-employment victimisation is indeed covered by the Equality Act. The issue arose out of unclear drafting in the Equality Act.

The act protects against post-employment discrimination and harassment but, on the face of it, does not protect against post-employment victimisation. In fact, the act seems expressly to state that post-employment victimisation is not covered. The explanatory note for this part of the act interprets this as meaning that post-employment victimisation is to be dealt with under separate ‘victimisation provisions’, but it is unclear what these ‘provisions’ are…

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