Mruke v Khan [2018] EWCA Civ 280

Appeal against the dismissal by the EAT of the Claimant's claims of unfair dismissal and race discrimination. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant was Tanzanian and employed as a domestic worker by the Respondent. She left the Respondent's employment in 2010 and brought claims of race discrimination, unfair dismissal, unlawful deduction from wages arising out of the Respondent's failure to pay her wages at the rate of the national minimum wage, outstanding holiday pay and a failure to give the Claimant proper rest breaks to which she was entitled. The ET dismissed her claims for racial discrimination (both direct and indirect) and harassment and unfair dismissal based on what she contended was her constructive dismissal. The EAT dismissed her appeal and she appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Court dismissed the appeal in relation to race discrimination, concluding that the ET were right to rule that the Claimant was not less favourably treated than a hypothetical comparator. However, the court allowed the appeal against the finding that she had not been unfairly dismissed, saying that this was one of the rare cases where the conclusion of the ET was perverse - the reality was that the Claimant was being paid the equivalent of 33 pence an hour for the work that she was doing. That was not just slightly below the national minimum wage, it was shockingly so. This was a case in which there was an "egregious" breach and the circumstances were such that the termination of the contract by the Claimant must have been because of a repudiatory breach, notwithstanding the lack of express reasons. A finding of unfair dismissal was substituted.

Published: 26/02/2018 10:41

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