Olatinwo v QualityCourse Ltd T/A Transline Group UKEAT/0075/17/RN

Appeal against the dismissal of the Claimant's claim of race discrimination. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant, a Nigerian national with the right of permanent residence in the UK, was asked to leave when the Respondent failed to fully understand what documents were required to assure them he had a right to work here and the response from the Home Office was incorrect. The ET1 claim form lodged on behalf of the Claimant pleaded both that the dismissal was an act of race discrimination and that the actions of the Respondent's Human Resources Personnel, in various respects, were acts of discrimination. The Claimant submitted that the reason for his treatment was a prejudicial and stereotypical view of Nigerians and specifically the view that they are less likely to hold valid immigration documents and/or status. The Claimant submitted that the ET could make this inference on the basis of the Respondent's failure to follow the straightforward guidance from the Home Office and taking the Claimant's documents as read requiring an unnecessary and erroneous further check. The ET dismissed his claim of race discrimination, saying that the treatment was not on the grounds that he was a Nigerian national but because the Respondent did not accept the Claimant's documents as his residence card was in an expired passport and they thought that it needed to be in a current one. The Claimant appealed.

The EAT allowed the appeal. The ET did not sufficiently consider and apply section 39(2), section 13(1) and section 136(2) and (3) of the Equality Act 2010 in respect of the actions and words of the Respondent's Compliance Team. The ET's own findings required it to give close attention to the question whether members of the Compliance Team took or participated in the decision to reject the Claimant's documents and assurances and require a Home Office check. There may have also been a question whether they participated in the decision to dismiss. It was not as clear as it might be from the ET's findings who actually took the decision to dismiss.


Published: 06/12/2017 16:26

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