Makbool Javaid, Partner and Head of Employment Law, looks at the facts and the implications following the EAT’s landmark ruling in EAD Solicitors v Abrams, that a company, operating as a member of a limited liability partnership, can claim direct discrimination where it suffers a detriment because of the age of someone with whom it is associated. This decision represents a very important development in the application of discrimination law, not just in the field of employment, but in the provision of goods and services. The case confirms that a company which has a working relationship with another organisation may present a claim for discrimination in its own right and seek compensation for financial loss if it suffers detrimental treatment based on the protected characteristics of individuals associated with it such as its directors, employees, etc.. For example, if a company providing IT support to an organisation has its services terminated because of the belief that the computer technicians are ‘too old to keep up with the times’, then that company may now present an associative direct discrimination claim.
This article appeared on CIPD People Management Online on 1 October 2015.
Link for CIPD Members
Link for non-CIPD Members: EAD Solicitors v Abrams