Turani & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department

[2021] EWCA Civ 348; Underhill VP, Simler and Warby LJJ

The Court considered an appeal from a High Court decision which had rejected indirect race discrimination and PSED challenges to the application of the Defendant’s ex gratia scheme to support and assist third-country national refugees outside the UK who have fled the conflict in Syria. The case is important, if somewhat disheartening to equality lawyers, for its conclusions on the (limited) extra-territorial effect of the Equality Act 2010. It is worth emphasising that the Court of Appeal’s approval of the High Court’s conclusions on justification were subject to the proviso that the limited evidence on which the High Court was prepared to find in the Defendant’s favour was the result of the way in which the claim had developed post-issue; as Underhill LJ, concurring with Simler LJ leading judgment, stated at §110: “the story is indeed a good illustration of the perils of “rolling judicial review”. Continue reading

R (Blundell & Ors) v SSWP; R (Day) v SSWP

[2021] EWHC 608 (Admin), Kerr J

The Claimants unsuccessfully challenged the Defendant’s policy of making deductions at a fixed rate from universal credit (UC) to pay off criminal fines. So far as relevant here, the claim alleged breach of the PSED (s149 Equality Act 2010) and unlawful indirect disability discrimination. The latter claim failed on the evidence, Kerr J pointing out that it would more suitably have been brought in the county court. The Judge did accept that the Defendant had breached the PSED but ruled against the claimants on the basis that compliance with the PSED would very likely have made no difference and that, therefore, s31A of the Senior Courts Act 1981 defeated the claim. Continue reading

R (DMA, AHK, BK and ELN) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; R (AA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

[2020] EWHC 3416 (Admin), Knowles CBE J

This was a claim brought by asylum seekers who, their claims having been rejected by the defendant, were not permitted to work or to access public funds while they awaited the defendant’s consideration of their further representations. The defendant had accepted that she was under a duty to provide accommodation or arrange for the provision of accommodation to the claimants under s4(2) Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (“the 1999 Act”). Continue reading

R (Colchester) v Secretary of State for Education

[2020] EWHC 3376 (Admin), Clive Sheldon QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge
This case concerned a renewed application for permission in a PSED challenge to the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019 and associated guidance, 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

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

disparate impact of Covid-19: end of furlough

The Guardian reported on 19 May 2020 that charities and social enterprise employers had been informed that Treasury plans to wind down the Covid-19 furlough scheme and to end it in October did not ‘currently include an exemption for vulnerable workers’. The plan, as it was reported at that time, was for employers to fund at least 80% of furloughed workers’ wages by August, with (at present) employers being treated equally irrespective of sector or ability of staff to return for reasons of vulnerability to Covid-19. Continue reading