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RELIGION, BELIEF & DISABILITY An Update. Contents. Part 1: Religion & Belief – an update Part 2: Disability Discrimination – where are we now? Part 3: Disability Discrimination – does the Equality Bill help or hinder? 3. PART 1 RELIGION & BELIEF – AN UPDATE.

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Contents

Part 1: Religion & Belief – an update

Part 2: Disability Discrimination – where are we now?

Part 3: Disability Discrimination – does the Equality Bill help or hinder?

3


PART 1

RELIGION & BELIEF – AN UPDATE


What beliefs are covered?

- Test for philosophical belief - McClintock v Department of Constitutional Affairs [2008] IRLR 29

  • Removal of the word “similar”- Hansard debate

  • Climate Change – the new religion? The PHR in Nicholson v Grainger plc


DIRECT DISCRIMINATION

  • On grounds of what?

  • Chondol v Liverpool City Council UKEAT/0298/08/JOJ

  • It is not religious discrimination to treat someone in a particular way because they try to persuade others of their belief.

  • - In such a case the action taken would be on the grounds that Mr Chondol was improperly foisting his beliefs on others and not on grounds of his religion or belief.

  • Position if proselytizing is a requirement of that religion?


INDIRECT DISCRIMINATION

Eweida v British Airways Plc [2009] IRLR 78

  • Covers subjective beliefs

  • Covers practical disadvantages

  • Covers those who reluctantly comply and should as such still regarded as suffering from a disadvantage

  • BUT

  • An arguably odd view in respect of group disadvantage


A DIFFERENT APPROACH IN RESPECT OF INDIRECT DISCRIMINATION?

London Borough of Islington v Ladele (with Liberty acting as intervener) [2009] IRLR 154

  • Cannot be direct discrimination to treat someone in the same way as everyone else is treated

  • Can, by definition, be indirect discrimination but in this case was justified

  • There was no claim under Article 9 ECHR because the right is limited to exercising one’s religious beliefs in a way which is compatible with the rights and interests of others


HARASSMENT

Saini v All Saints Haque Centre(1), Bungay (2) & Paul (3) [2009] IRLR 74

- Harassment not limited to harassment on the grounds of the religious belief of the person being harassed


PART 2

DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

WHERE ARE WE NOW?


THE END OF DISABILITY RELATED DISCRIMINATION

  • London Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm [2008] IRLR 700

  • Comparator

  • Knowledge

  • Confirmation on numerous occasions by the EAT that it applies in the employment context


REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE RESCUE?

  • Attempts by the courts to bridge the gap / emphasise the existing position

  • Stockton on Tees BC v Aylott UKEAT/0401/08/CEA

  • Fareham College v Walters UKEAT/0396/08/DM


PART 3

DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

THE EQUALITY BILL


DEFINITION OF DISABILITY

Broadly similar

BUT

Removal of the requirement to consider the existing eight capabilities


DIRECT DISCRIMINATION

Clause 13

Unlawful discrimination when A treats B less favourably “because of a protected characteristic”.

Allows for associative discrimination

Removes, at least for direct discrimination, the need to read into the legislation in order to protect careers – see the decision of the ECJ in Coleman v Attridge Law

Cf position with disability related discrimination and indirect discrimination


POSITIVE DISCRIMINATION

Clause 13

Positive discrimination permitted

Wording clear enough?


DISCRIMINATION ARISING FROM DISABILITY

  • Clause 15

  • ‘(1) A person (A) discriminates against a disabled person (B) if –

  • A treats B in a particular way,

  • because of B’s disability, the treatment amounts to a detriment, and

  • A cannot show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.’

  • Designed to deal with the problems posed by Lewisham v Malcolm

  • Comparator provisions of Clause 23 do not apply to this clause

  • Risk of courts implying a comparator?

  • “Because of” meaning that a higher degree of causation required than under the pre-Malcolm position? Possible amendment.


INDIRECT DISCRIMINATION

Clause 19 – the harmonised clause re indirect discrimination – applies equally to disability

Issues with identifying the relevant group?


REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS

Clause 20

Essentially the same as in the DDA

BUT

Arguably less beneficial than the existing position because of how the comparator is defined


CONCLUSION?

There is still some way to go with aspects of the Equality Bill relating to disability.


Contact

London

10 - 11 Bedford Row

London WC1R 4BU

DX 1046 London / Chancery Lane

T +44 (0) 20 7269 0300

F +44 (0) 20 7405 1387

Bristol

3 Orchard Court, St Augustines Yard

Bristol BS1 5DP

DX 78229 Bristol 1

T +44 (0) 117 930 5100

F +44 (0) 117 927 3478

E [email protected]

W www.oldsquare.co.uk


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