Woman succeeds in caste discrimination claim
The question of caste discrimination has been considered by parliament on several occasions, there is uncertainty as to whether existing legislation on race, or indeed religion, covers caste discrimination. The Equality Act contains a provision which, if enacted, would make caste discrimination unlawful in its own right. Although this provision has never been enacted, in the case of Tirkey v Chandock, the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided that a race discrimination claim, based on caste should continue and be considered by an employment tribunal.
According to a BBC News report, Ms Tirkey was recruited from India as a domestic servant, she worked 18 hours days and was paid only a fraction of the national minimum wage. Her employers had wanted, “someone who would be not merely of service but servile, who would not be aware of United Kingdom employment rights”. Ms Tirkey had been considered ideal because of her low caste position.
The employment tribunal has now upheld Ms Tirkey’s claims for unlawful deductions from wages, unfair dismissal, race discrimination, religious discrimination and for breaches of the Working Time Regulations. It has been widely reported that she received compensation of £184,000. This is, in fact, just an estimate of the shortfall in payment of the national minimum wage, the question of remedy for her other successful claims will be considered at a separate hearing which has been scheduled to take place in early November.
Tirkey v Chandok and another ET/3400174/13
For the BBC article, click here
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