Employment Cases Update

Base Childrenswear Ltd v Otshudi [2019] EWCA Civ 1648

Date published: 11/10/2019

Appeal against the ET’s finding that the Claimant had proved a prima facie case that her dismissal was influenced by her race. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant was dismissed after only three months' employment with the Respondent. The ET upheld her claim concerning an alleged incident of racial harassment based on her dismissal and made an award of compensation. The Respondent's appeal to the EAT against the liability decision was dismissed. The Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal on the grounds that there was no evidential basis for the ET's finding that the Claimant had proved a prima facie case that her dismissal was influenced by her race, and that, even if the ET had been entitled to find a prima facie case, its decision that the Respondent had not proved its case under s 136(3) Equality Act 2010 ("EqA 2010") was flawed.

The Court of Appeal held that, while the ET's reasoning could have been more clearly expressed, it was not satisfied that any error of law on the part of the ET had been established. It stated that the consequence of the way that s 136 EqA 2010 works is that, if a respondent fails to show that the relevant protected characteristic played no part in its motivation for doing the act complained of, a tribunal is not obliged to make a positive finding as to whether or how it did so.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.