0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

can cost ever justify discrimination?

2 June 2011

A ‘provision, criterion or practice’ which puts one protected group (eg persons of a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, age etc) at a disadvantage amounts to indirect discrimination unless it can be justified as a ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.’

Cost is often a major factor, but until recently, the view from tribunals was that cost alone is not enough. Some recent cases have called this stance into question, the latest being Cherfi v G4S Security Services Ltd.

Mr Cherfi, a Muslim, regularly left his employers site on Friday lunchtimes to attend mosque. Mr Cherfi was told by his employer that he could no longer do this as G4S were contractually obliged to ensure that a specified number of security guards were present throughout operating hours.

Although in this case the EAT decided that G4S had not relied on cost alone to justify its practices, the EAT did suggest that had it done so, cost by itself might constitute sufficient justification.

related opinions

Will there be a return of employment tribunal fees?

The Government is reportedly considering the reinstatement of tribunal fees in respect of employment claims.

View blog

Redundancy: competitive interview processes

In this case, the Respondent’s appeal was unsuccessful. In the first instance, the decision that it unfairly dismissed various claimants following the closure of the school where they worked. The Claimants were unsuccessful in applying for substantially similar positions at a new school that opened at the same site. Read more here.

View blog

Can an application to postpone a hearing be refused?

This case highlights the importance of Claimants obtaining their own medical evidence in such matters especially when it is pivotal to their claim.

View blog

Employer obliged to pay settlement despite employees confidentiality breach

In Duchy Farm Kennels Ltd v Steels the employer was found not to have been relieved of its obligation to pay a settlement sum, despite the former employee having breached the confidentiality clause contained in the settlement agreement.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up