Ali v Heathrow Express Operating Company Ltd & Anor

EAT, Judge Auerbach, Mr D Bleiman and Miss S Wilson CBE, [2022] EAT 54, 7 April 2022

This decision is a reminder that, where unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic is not intended to offend, intimidate, etc, an objective test applies to the question whether conduct amounts to harassment. Continue reading

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Akhtar

Court of Appeal, Underhill VP, Macur and Moylan LJJ, [2021] EWCA Civ 1353, 10 September 2021

The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal against the decision of the Upper Tribunal that the exclusion from entitlement to Bereavement Payment (“BP”) under ss 36 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 of those whose marriages were recognised for religious purposes, and not in English law, breached Article 14 read with A1P1. There was some disagreement between the Court of Appeal judges as to the law relating to polygamy but all were agreed that the claimant was not analogously situated to someone whose religious marriage (conducted abroad) was so recognised, further that the discrimination was justified in any event, the decision of the Supreme Court in R (SC) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions having little impact in this case. Continue reading

R (Z & Anor) v Hackney LBC & Anor

Supreme Court, [2020] UKSC 40, 16 October 2020

Lords Reed, Kerr, Kitchen and Sales and Lady Arden

Introduction

The case involved a challenge to Hackney’s allocation of about 1% of its social housing via a charitable housing association (Agudas Israel Housing Association/ AIHA) which prioritized applicants from the Orthodox Jewish Community. The reasons for the priority were, inter alia, that Orthodox Jewish families were disadvantaged in access to general social housing by reason of their tendency to have large families; that they suffered from significant economic disadvantage and discrimination in access to private sector accommodation; and that they needed to live in proximity to each other for religious reasons and because of antisemitism. The decision is an important one in rejecting the argument that a narrow approach should be taken to the parameters of lawful positive action.

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