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31 August 2018 | Comment | Article by Louise Price

Caste discrimination consultation


The Government has published its response to the consultation paper which sought views on whether legislation was needed to protect individuals who may suffer discrimination because they are of a particular caste.

It has decided not to legislate but to rely on developing case law to provide individuals with protection from discrimination because of caste.

Case law (see Chandhok and another v Tirkey [2015] IRLR 195) has previously allowed claims regarding caste discrimination to proceed on the basis that it is bound up with ethnic origin.

The Government published the consultation paper back in March 2017 seeking views on whether legislation was needed or if the emerging case law was sufficient protection. Some groups continue to be at risk of unfavourable treatment in certain cultures due to their perceived placing within the hierarchy in the community.

Legislating in this area would have seen caste added to the list of what is defined as “aspects” of Race (such as ethnic origin and nationality).

It is likely that the relatively few (known) cases of caste discrimination has contributed to this approach. The Government will continue to review case law on this subject and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that, if the number of instances of discrimination because of caste was to increase, further legislation might be considered appropriate in the future.

If you would like more information please contact the employment team on 029 2039 1002.

Author bio

A highly specialised lawyer, Louise is a Partner and Head of Employment and HR services. Her expertise includes corporate support work, TUPE, pensions and employee benefits advice. She regularly advises private, public and third sector clients regarding large scale TUPE transfers of staff including drafting indemnities and warranties, advising on potential employment and pension liabilities, information and consultation obligations, and providing best value guidance.

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