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1 June 2012
Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)
HHJ David Richardson, Baroness Drake of Shene and Mr T Motture
Although (what is now) Part V of the Equality Act 2010 only makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate on a protected ground, s 109 makes an employer liable for acts of discrimination by its employees; and where that happens, the employee is also liable (s 110). This case shows that a claim can be brought against an employee without bringing a claim against the employer.
B complained to a tribunal that his employer had discriminated against him because of his disability. S, a fellow employee, then made a false allegation against B. B brought a further tribunal complaint against S, alleging that the false allegation was motivated by his first claim. He did not include his employers in the second claim.
The tribunal dismissed the second claim because S was not B's employer, and (what is now) Part V of the Equality Act only makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate on one of the protected grounds. The EAT disagreed. The combination of (what is now) Part V, s 109 and s 110 meant that claims could be brought against fellow employees where s 109 would have made the employer liable for unlawful discrimination by a fellow employee and there was no need for B to have included the employer as a party to the claim.
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