Showboat Entertainment Centre v Owens: EAT 28 Oct 1983

The employer had dismissed an employee who had refused to comply with a discriminatory instruction by the employer to exclude blacks from the employer’s amusement centre. The tribunal at first instance had found that that was a dismissal ‘on racial grounds’, notwithstanding that the dismissed employee was white.
Held: The employer’s appeal failed. The Appeal Tribunal considered the meaning of the phrase ‘on racial grounds.’ Browne-Wilkinson P: ‘Therefore the only question is whether Mr Owens was treated less favourably ‘on racial grounds’. Certainly the main thrust of the legislation is to give protection to those discriminated against on the grounds of their own racial characteristics. But the words ‘on racial grounds’ are perfectly capable in their ordinary sense of covering any reason for an action based on race, whether it be the race of the person affected by the action or of others.’ and ‘We can, therefore see nothing in the wording of the Act which makes it clear that the words ‘on racial grounds’ cover only the race of the complainant.’

Browne-Wilkinson P
[1984] IRLR 7, [1983] UKEAT 29 – 83 – 2810, [1984] ICR 65
Race Relations Act 1976
England and Wales
CitedRace Relations Board v Applin CA 1973
. .
CitedZarcynska v Levy EAT 1978
. .

Cited by:
ApprovedWeathersfield Ltd (T/a Van and Truck Rentals) v Sargent CA 10-Dec-1998
The employer, a vehicle hire operator, explained to the Claimant employee following her appointment as a receptionist their policy that if she received an enquiry from any coloured or Asians, judging by their voices, she was to tell them that there . .
CitedA C Redfearn v Serco Ltd T/A West Yorkshire Transport Service EAT 27-Jul-2005
The claimant said that he had been indirectly discriminated against on racial grounds. He was dismissed after being elected as a local councillor for the BNP. The employer considered that for Health and Safety reasons, his dismissal was necessary . .
CitedEnglish v Thomas Sanderson Ltd CA 19-Dec-2008
The claimant appealed dismissal of his claim for harrassment and sex discrimination. Though heterosexual, he had been subject to persistent jokes that he was homosexual. The court first asked whether the alleged conduct was ‘on the grounds of sexual . .
CitedLisboa v Realpubs Ltd and Others EAT 11-Jan-2011
Whether Respondent’s policy of encouraging a wider clientele at a formerly gay pub involved less favourable treatment of gay customers causing the Claimant to resign in . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Discrimination

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.229840