R (on the application of Caine) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

[2020] EWHC 2482 (Admin), Julian Knowles J

The claimant sought to challenge the calculation of the housing element of Universal Credit (UC) on the basis, inter alia, that it discriminated between weekly and monthly paying tenants. Continue reading

R (Bridges) v CC South Wales Police

[2020] EWCA Civ 1058, Sir Terence Etherton MR, Dame Victoria Sharp P and Singh LJ

The Court of Appeal allowed the Claimant’s appeal against the decision of the Divisional Court that the Defendant had not breached the PSED in its trial of live automated facial recognition technology Continue reading

Independent Workers Union of Great Britain v Mayor of London & Transport for London (Interested Party)

[2020] EWCA Civ 1046, Sir Geoffrey Vos C, Singh and Simler LJJ

The claimant unsuccessfully appealed against the rejection by Lewis J of its challenge to the decision to remove the exemption in the congestion charging regime which had previously applied to private hire vehicles (PHVs). The exemption remained applicable to black cabs and to the 1% of PHVs which were wheelchair accessible. The claimant argued that the removal of the exemption amounted to indirect discrimination against BAME and women PHV drivers, 94% of PHV drivers being from BAME backgrounds whereas 88% of black cab drivers were white. Continue reading

R (Cornerstone (North East) Fostering & Adoption Services v Ofsted

[2020] EWHC 1679 (Admin), Julian B Knowles J

The case was brought by a charitable adoption and fostering agency which sought judicial review of a report by Ofsted which found that its policy of accepting only heterosexual evangelical Christians as the potential carers of fostered children breached the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998, and required that Cornerstone alter the policy. Continue reading

Bostock v Clayton County

US Supreme Court, 590 US_ (2020)

As Europeans, it is easy for us to assume that we have nothing to learn from the USA when it comes to anti-discrimination law. Surely a legal system which tolerated de jure racial segregation until 1965, and which was still prosecuting gay men in the 1990s, has nothing to teach the nations of Europe, with their well-established and comprehensive codes of equality laws? Well, perhaps. Continue reading

Adiatu & Independent Workers Union of GB v HM Treasury

 [2020] EWHC 1554 (Admin), Bean LJ and Cavanagh J

Comment

The claimants sought unsuccessfully to challenge the approach taken by the Chancellor to the furlough scheme, arguing in particular that the exclusion of self-employed workers from entitlement to furlough payments and the restriction of payments for non-furloughed workers who could not attend work (because they were symptomatic or self-isolating) to SSP discriminated against self-employed workers contrary to Article 14 EHCR, and indirectly discriminated against women and BAME workers contrary to EU law. They also claimed that the Chancellor had failed to pay regard to the PSED in designing the scheme. Continue reading

R (McConnell & Anor) v Registrar General for England and Wales

[2020] EWCA Civ 559, [2020] 2 All ER 813, Lord Burnett CJ, Singh and King LJJ

Case

The effect of a certificate issued under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 is (s9) that the recipient “becomes for all purposes the acquired gender”. The question which arose for the Court of Appeal in the McConnell case was whether this recognition entitled the appellant, who became pregnant and gave birth to a child after having acquired male gender under the 2004 Act, to be listed on the child’s birth certificate as its father. Continue reading

Tabidi v BBC

 [2020] EWCA Civ 733, Underhill (VP) and McCombe LJJ, Morgan J, 11 June 2020

The requirement for a real or hypothetical comparator in direct discrimination cases has given rise to difficulties in judicial analysis, particularly in the context of pregnancy (see the saga which started with the decision of the EAT in Turley v Alders Dept Store [1980] ICR 66, continued through that of the EAT in Hayes v Malleable Working Men’s Club [1985] ICR 703 and culminated in the decision of the House of Lords in Webb v EMO (No 2) [1995] ICR 1021). Continue reading