Lack of interim relief in discrimination cases may be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights


Share

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered in Steer v Stormshore Ltd that the absence of an interim relief remedy for employment discrimination claims could be incompatible with Article 6 (the right to a fair trial), Article 8 (the right to respect for private life) and Article 14 (prohibition on discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights.  

It granted leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal as it did not have the power to make such a finding.

Ms Steer brought an employment tribunal claim alleging discriminatory dismissal and/or victimisation and made an application for interim relief. The tribunal held that it had no jurisdiction and Ms Steer appealed to the EAT. The EAT held that the absence of an interim relief remedy in discrimination cases appeared to be unlawful under Articles 6, 8 and 14. The difference between whistleblowing claims, where interim relief is available, and discrimination claims, where it is not, was not justifiable.

The EAT held that it had no power to grant a declaration of incompatibility with section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998, and it could not interpret the Equality Act 2010 to read in a right to apply for interim relief in discrimination or victimisation dismissal cases. It dismissed the appeal, but granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal who would have the power to grant a declaration of incompatibility.

Take note: The EAT noted that if Ms Steer is successful in her appeal, the legal landscape in relation to the remedies available for discrimination and victimisation claims will change significantly.  It may be that, in future, interim relief will be available for such claims.  In the meantime watch this space! 
Insight

HR Law – February 2023

Explore
Insight

Being a successful Employer of the Future: A Trowers Tuesday series

Explore
Insight

Don’t be Slack when it comes to embargoed judgments 

Explore
Insight

Webinar – Trowers Tuesday: Successful changes and restructures

Explore
Insight

Dismissal of employee on long-term sickness absence was not discrimination arising from disability

Explore
Insight

Strikes (Minimum Services) Bill introduced in the House of Commons 

Explore