Onu v Akwiwu: Post employment victimisation under Equality Act 2010

UKEAT/0283/12/RN & UKEAT/0022/12/RN

The Employment Appeal Tribunal under its President has held that the Equality Act 2010 does cover post-termination victimisation in a judgment on Wednesday 1 May in our case of Onu v Akwiwu and Akwiwu UKEAT/0283/12/RN & UKEAT/0022/12/RN.

Practitioners will be aware that this contrasts with the decision in Rowstock Ltd v Jessemy UKEAT/0112/12 where another division of the EAT held that the Equality Act does not cover post termination victimisation and, further, that it cannot be interpreted to offer protection. So there are now two EAT decisions which, it appears, cannot be reconciled – albeit one is a decision of the President. Permission has been given on Jessemy to appeal and the case has been issued in the Court of Appeal.

Practitioners will need to draw the attention of the Employment Tribunal (if necessary) to this conflict and be prepared to argue why one or other of the decisions should be followed pending, it is assumed, resolution in the Court of Appeal.

The other point in Onu is the nature and extent of direct discrimination (as in Taiwo) and the two cases on this point are now on appeal to the Court of Appeal.

James Rowbottom of 7 Bedford Row acted for the Claimant at the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal.