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

Supreme Court finds illegality does not stop discrimination claim

1 August 2014

Mary Hounga entered the UK dishonestly on a visitor’s visa, with no right to work in this country. She was subjected to violence by her employer and subsequently brought a claim of race discrimination. At the Court of Appeal, it was found that the illegality of the contract of employment formed a material part of her complaint. To uphold it would condone the illegality, which was against public policy.

The Court of Appeal judgment was overturned by the Supreme Court which decided that the illegality did not defeat the claim and that the UK’s obligation to protect victims of human trafficking meant that it should proceed.

This decision will be welcomed by many, as a contrary outcome would have encouraged disreputable employers to enter into illegal contracts in the belief that they can discriminate with impunity.

related opinions

Election implications for IR35

Draft legislation has already been produced to replicate the 2017 IR35 changes within the public sector and extend these to medium and large private sector organisations, with the final legislation previously expected this month.

View blog

Legal fees for advising on settlement agreements

When entering into a settlement agreement, it is a requirement for the employee to get independent legal advice on the terms and effect of the agreement.

View blog

Would you work for free?

The gender pay gap continues to make headlines but disparities in pay for disabled workers is given significantly less attention.

View blog

Annual Injury and Ill-Health Statistics for Great Britain: still too high?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released its annual report detailing the number of injuries and incidents of ill-health in workplaces across Great Britain, and its statistics show that this number is too high.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up