European Employment Law Cases

Case Reports

2016/10 Associative victimisation claim allowed to proceed (UK)

Keywords associative victimisation, degree of association required in associative discrimination, no reasonable prospect of success
Authors Anna Bond
Author's information

294475 Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.
  • Abstract

      The Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) has allowed a claim of ‘associative victimisation’ to proceed, reversing an Employment Tribunal (‘ET’) judge’s decision to strike it out. Victimisation occurs where someone is subjected to a detriment because of a ‘protected act’ (such as alleging discrimination). In this case, the claimant claimed he had been subjected to a detriment because someone else associated with him had alleged discrimination. The second ET judge to hear the case held that there was not a close enough connection between the claimant and those who made the allegation of discrimination, and struck out the claim. The EAT held that the judge was wrong to find that Mr Thompson was required to show some particular relationship to the person whose protected act was relied upon, and in fact the association could be entirely in the mind of the employer. Association will be a question of fact in each case.
      This was the first case in the UK to find that it is possible to bring a claim of victimisation by association, and could represent a significant development in UK discrimination law.

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