Akwiwu and Another v Onu: EAT 1 May 2013

EAT Race Discrimination : Direct
Post Employment
The Claimant was a Nigerian woman who had been employed as a domestic servant for Nigerian employers, having obtained a migrant domestic workers’ visa to enable her to do so. She succeeded on her claim for direct race discrimination, on the basis that the burden of proof shifted and no sufficient explanation was offered by her employers, following Mehmet v Aduma. Held that was an error: the case was wrongly decided, and was no precedent for the circumstances here. The burden of proof did not shift without something more than a difference of race and disparity of treatment. The fact of needing a migrant worker visa was a background circumstance, not a cause of the mistreatment: this was not a case such as James v Eastleigh, or JFS, where an inevitably discriminatory criterion had been applied.
Indirect discrimination could not be established on the basis of the PCP contended for below; harassment failed for the same reasons as did the claim of direct discrimination. Victimisation arising out of events some months after the employment ended was alleged. A defence that the Equality Act could not be interpreted so as to confer jurisdiction on a Tribunal to hear a complaint of victimisation arising after the relationship of employer/employee had ended was rejected. Jessemey was not followed. The Tribunal’s dismissal of the claim on the basis that a threat issued in response to the claimant taking proceedings (which included claims under the Equality Act, but also other claims) had expressly to refer to the Equality Act or identify such a claim specifically, was reversed.
The employers also appealed on the basis that claims for payment of the Minimum Wage and in respect of the Working Time Directive were excluded because the claimant was treated as a family member. This was rejected, given the findings of fact.
Permission to appeal in this case and the linked appeal of Taiwo was granted.

Langstaff P J
[2013] UKEAT 0283 – 12 – 0105, [2013] Eq LR 577, [2013] IRLR 523, [2013] ICR 1039
Equality Act 2010 13(1)
England and Wales
AppliedRowstock Ltd v Jessemey EAT 5-Mar-2013
EAT UNFAIR DISMISSAL – Polkey deduction
VICTIMISATION – Post-employment
The employee was dismissed on grounds of retirement, having reached an age over . .

Cited by:
CitedDeer v University of Oxford CA 6-Feb-2015
The claimant had previously succeeded in a claim of sex discrimination against the University, her former employer. She now appealed against rejection of her claims alleging later victimisation.
Held: Two appeals succeed, and those matters . .
At EATOnu v Akwiwu and Another CA 13-Mar-2014
Two claimants, Nigerian women, came illegally to work as domestics. They suffered severe abuse by their employers. Whilst each received substantial awards, they appealed now from rejection of their claims for discrimination based upon the advantage . .
At EATTaiwo and Another v Olaigbe and Others SC 22-Jun-2016
The claimants had been brought here illegally to act as servants for the defendants. They were taken advantage of and abused. They made several claims, but now appealed against rejection of their claims for discrimination. The court was asked . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Discrimination

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.495209