Employment News Update: Race Directive prohibits indirect discrimination by association

Makbool Javaid, Partner and Head of Employment Law, examines the ECJ’s decision in CHEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria v Komisia za zashtita ot diskriminatsia which held that an apparently neutral practice which disadvantaged people of Roma origin could also directly and indirectly discriminate against those who are not of Roma origin because they live in the same locality and so suffer the same disadvantage. The outcome represents a landmark ruling because while it has been accepted that direct discrimination can occur by association, e.g. a non-disabled employee is not promoted because she needs to work flexibly to care for her disabled son, this ruling establishes that associative discrimination also applies to indirect discrimination. In addition, Makbool explains the impact on the definition of indirect discrimination in Section 19 of the Equality Act 2010 which now does not now comply, in part, with the Race Directive, as S.19(2)(c) requires the individual complainant to have the same race or ethnicity as the disadvantaged group.

This article appeared in the CIPD People Management Online Magazine on 23 July 2015

Link for CIPD members

Link for non-CIPD members: CHEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria v Komisia za zashtita ot diskriminatsia