Springhouse Solicitors

Afghan interpreters unable to bring discrimination claims

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has told 2 Afghani interpreters they cannot bring claims for indirect discrimination against the government. Their claims related to their not being given protection, benefits, and relocation opportunities, despite suffering intimidation and death threats as a result of their work.

Background

Whilst these particular Afghan nationals were not given the benefits in question (because of the start date of their employment) they argued that interpreters joining British operations in Iraq had been given these benefits and that they had therefore been discriminated against on grounds of their nationality.

However, the Appeal Tribunal held that the English Equality Act 2010 has no jurisdiction in this case. This is because, applying the case law of Lawson v. Serco, they were not ordinarily working in Great Britain, could not be characterised as expatriate or peripatetic workers, and did not have stronger connections with Britain and British employment law than that in Afghanistan.

Implications

The EAT undoubtedly came to their conclusions with a heavy heart, and have granted leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.