Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police v Khan: HL 11 Oct 2001

The claimant was a police sergeant. After many years he had not been promoted. He began proceedings for race discrimination. Whilst those were in course, he applied for a post elsewhere. That force wrote to his own requesting a reference. In the light of the discrimination claim, they were advised not to reply for fear of compromising their case. The Court of Appeal held this to be victimisation. The Force appealed.
Held: Victimisation occurs when a party is treated less favourably for doing a protected act. That act must be within a relevant context (here employment), less favourable, and ‘by reason that.’ That last condition did not require a causal connection as such, but must provide an answer to the question of how the act arose. This is a question of fact. Causation is a legal question. In this case, the force would have refused a reference, whatever the nature of the complainant’s dispute with the force. The causal issues underlying race victimisation claims, are not the same as those which arise in sex discrimination cases.
Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead: The primary object of the victimisation provisions in section 2 [of the Race Relations Act 1976] is to ensure that persons are not penalised or prejudiced because they have taken steps to exercise their statutory rights or are intending to do so’.

Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Mackay of Clashfern Lord Hoffmann Lord Hutton Lord Scott of Foscote
Times 16-Oct-2001, Gazette 01-Nov-2001, [2001] UKHL 48, [2001] ICR 1065, [2001] 1 WLR 1947, [2001] 4 All ER 834, [2001] IRLR 830, [2001] Emp LR 1399
House of Lords, Bailii
Race Relations Act 1976
England and Wales
CitedKirby v Manpower Services Commission EAT 1980
The applicant, an employee at a job centre was demoted because he had disclosed confidential information about possible contraventions of the race relations legislation. He complained of race discrimination, saying his disclosure was a protected . .
ApprovedAziz v Trinity Street Taxis Ltd CA 26-Feb-1988
An Asian member of the respondent association of taxi cab operators secretly recorded conversations with other members to gather evidence for a claim under the Act. He was expelled from the association for this conduct. He alleged race . .
CitedTNT Express Worldwide (UK) Ltd v Brown CA 18-Apr-2000
An employee pursuing a claim of racial discrimination against his employers requested time off to see his adviser on the claim. The company refused, he took the time off, and was later dismissed. Since the company normally allowed on short notice . .
ApprovedCornelius v University College of Swansea CA 1987
A college declined to act on an employee’s transfer request or to operate their grievance procedure while proceedings under the 1975 Act, brought by the employee against the college, were still awaiting determination. The college was trying to . .
Appeal fromChief Constable of West Yorkshire Police and Others v Khan CA 24-Feb-2000
A police sergeant had made a complaint of race discrimination against his force. He applied for a post elsewhere, but his chief constable refused a reference claiming that he wished not to prejudice the force’s defence of the action. This was held . .

Cited by:
CitedThe Law Society v Kamlesh Bahl EAT 7-Jul-2003
EAT Sex Discrimination – Direct
The complainant had been suspended from her position as Vice President of the Law Society. The Society and its officers appealed findings of sex and race discrimination . .
CitedShamoon v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary HL 27-Feb-2003
The applicant was a chief inspector of police. She had been prevented from carrying out appraisals of other senior staff, and complained of sex discrimination.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. The tribunal had taken a two stage approach. It . .
CitedSt Helens Metroploitan Borough Council v Derbyshire and others CA 29-Jul-2005
The employees commenced a series of sex discrimination claims against the appellant. Many had settled, and the council wrote directly to the remaining claimants. The claimants said this amounted to intimidation because the council had not gone . .
CitedSt Helens Borough Council v Derbyshire and others HL 25-Apr-2007
The claimants were pursuing an action for equal pay. Several others settled their own actions, and the respondents then wrote direct to the claimants expressing their concern that the action ws being continued and its possible effects. The claimants . .
CitedMohammed, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence CA 1-May-2007
In 2000, the defendant introduced a policy to make compensation payments for those British services personnel who had been imprisoned by the Japanese in the second world war. The appellant, a citizen of Pakistan had served in the Indian Army, was . .
CitedBalamoody v United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting CA 6-Dec-2001
The claimant had been struck from the register of nurses after convictions arising from failures of his staff at his nursing home with regard to drug management. He had then brought claims of unlawful race discrimination against the health authority . .
CitedAmnesty International v Ahmed EAT 13-Aug-2009
EAT RACE DISCRIMINATION – Direct discrimination
RACE DISCRIMINATION – Indirect discrimination
RACE DISCRIMINATION – Protected by s. 41
UNFAIR DISMISSAL – Constructive dismissal
Claimant, of . .
CitedFosh v Cardiff University EAT 23-Jan-2008
The professor had sought time off to represent another lecturer claiming race discrimination against the University. The University said that her behaviour created a conflict of interest with the University. She continued and herself claimed . .
CitedE, Regina (On the Application of) v The Governing Body of JFS and Another CA 25-Jun-2009
E challenged the admissions policy of a school which admitted by preference children acknowledged to be Jewish by the Office of their Rabbi. His mother being Jewish by conversion in a progressive synagogue, E was excluded. The claimant suggested . .
CitedE, Regina (on The Application of) v Governing Body of JFS and Another SC 16-Dec-2009
E complained that his exclusion from admission to the school had been racially discriminatory. The school applied an Orthodox Jewish religious test which did not count him as Jewish because of his family history.
Held: The school’s appeal . .
CitedPothecary Witham Weld (A Firm) and Another v Bullimore and Another EAT 29-Mar-2010
Ex-employee given unfavourable reference – Claim that terms of reference were partly on account of her having previously brought . .
CitedHM Land Registry v Grant EAT 15-Apr-2010
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Appellate Jurisdiction /Reasons /Burns-Barke
An Employment Tribunal accepted that 6 out of 12 . .
CitedFecitt and Others v NHS Manchester EAT 23-Nov-2010
S.47B of the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that ‘A worker has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate . .
CitedConteh v Parking Partners Ltd EAT 17-Dec-2010
Where an employee worked in an environment in which her dignity was violated, or which became intimidatory, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive as a result of actions of . .
CitedVivian v Bournemouth Borough Council EAT 6-May-2011
An act is on the ground that an employer has made a protected disclosure within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 section 47B if it is done by reason of such a disclosure or . .
CitedNHS Manchester v Fecitt and Others CA 25-Oct-2011
The appellant challenged reversal by the EAT of a finding that it had not unlawfully victimised the respondents for the making of a protected disclosure. The claimant had reported a co-worker exaggerating his qualifications. After repeated . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Discrimination, Police

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.166571