Court of Appeal Provides Guidance on Indirect Discrimination Claims

Home Office (UK Border Agency) v Essop and Others [2015] EWCA Civ 609

52 claims were brought against the Home Office arguing that the requirement to take the ‘Core Skills Assessment’ amounted to indirect race and age discrimination. A declaratory Judgment was sought from the Employment Tribunal to determine precisely what the Claimants would need to prove to establish group and individual disadvantage within the meaning of S19(2)(b) and (c) of the Equality Act 2010.

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ACAS Early Conciliation- the harsh reality

The Employment Tribunals (Early Conciliation: Exemptions and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2014 came into force on 6th April 2014 introducing mandatory conciliation in employment disputes as a precursor to eligibility for bringing a claim before an employment tribunal.

We are over a year on and starting to see some satellite litigation on the operation and enforcement of the regulations, albeit not the volume that was predicted. Two recent cases in particular have highlighted the potentially harsh reality of the operation of the ACAS Early Conciliation process.

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Rupert Chapman

Quantifying beneficial interests post Kernott

In the case of Graham-York v York [2015] EWCA Civ 72 the Court of Appeal has considered the proper approach to the quantification of beneficial interests since the Supreme Court’s judgment in Jones v Kernott. The appellant, Miss Graham-York had lived with a Mr York until his death in a property purchased in his sole name and continued to live there after his death. The property was subject to a mortgage and when it fell into arrears the provider sought to enforce those arrears against Mr York’s estate. They succeeded in an application for possession, whereupon the appellant sought to be joined to the proceedings and to claim a constructive trust which she asserted took precedence over the mortgage. The Circuit Judge gave the Miss Graham-York a 25% share of the net proceeds of the property after payment of the mortgage. She appealed both the unequal distribution and the order that the mortgage charge should take precedence over her own interest. Read more

External Relocation

The increasingly global nature of modern day life has led to an increase in the number of parties seeking to relocate (or prevent relocation of) children following a relationship breakdown. That relocation can be either internal or external to our jurisdiction but is likely to have a significant (and often devastating) impact on one of the parties. The Courts actively encourage parties to make an application in advance of any relocation, and this should be done either by way of a specific issue order pursuant to section 8 Children Act 1989 or section 13 CA 1989. For the party opposing any move, the correct procedure is to apply for a prohibited steps order pursuant to section 8 CA 1989. Read more

ACAS Early Conciliation and Limitation Periods in the Employment Tribunal: How does it work?

Early Conciliation

Since 6th April 2014, before ‘relevant proceedings’ can be issued in an Employment Tribunal, prospective Claimants must first contact ACAS and provide them with certain basic information (referred to as ‘prescribed information’ to be given ‘in the prescribed manner’ (i.e. in accordance with the legislation)) to enable ACAS to explore the possibility of resolving the dispute by conciliation- Employment Tribunals Act (‘ETA’) 1996 section 18A(1) (inserted by Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 section 7(1)). This applies to all claims issued on or after 6th May 2014. Read more

Think big – go small

The press has been filled recently with the news that most new wind turbines are being called in by Mr Pickles, as Secretary of State, and refused and many seemed to think that the death knell was being sounded for wind power but it’s not so. Sure the bigger projects attract considerable opposition due to their widespread impact on the surrounding countryside but there is an increasing trend towards the smaller more locally sited turbines. Read more