Two recent high profile cases in the Court of Appeal have seen DMH Stallard clients successfully defending claims of race discrimination. In Lyfar v Brighton & Sussex Universities Hospital NHS Trust the Claimant made 17 complaints of race discrimination extending over a period of seven months. She contended that these complaints were a continuing act over an extended period of time as allowed for under Section 68(7)B of the Race Relations Act 1976. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Employment Tribunal to dismiss sixteen of the complaints. Twelve of the complaints were held to be lodged out of time as the Claimant had failed to demonstrate that they related to an ongoing situation or state of affairs. A further four claims were dismissed due to a failure to follow the statutory grievance procedure.

In Brown v London Borough of Croydon and another the Court of Appeal confirmed that while in general the two-stage approach was good practice in discrimination cases – requiring that a Claimant formally establish a prima facie case of discrimination before looking at the adequacy of the Respondent’s explanation or reason why the Respondent acted as it was not obligatory. There may be cases where a claimant is not prejudiced by the Employment Tribunal focussing on the “reason why” at an early stage.

STOP PRESS– Mr Brown has lodged a petition for an appeal to the House of Lords.

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