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Legal Updates

No way around the Equality Act 2010 for disability claims against employers

23 August 2019 #Employment

This week, in Britliff v Birmingham City Council  the Employment Appeal Tribunal has confirmed that individuals cannot bring claims against their employer in UK courts and tribunals for breaches of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“UNCRPD”).

Mr Britliff brought claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination against the Council, stating that he was bringing claims for violations of the UNCRPD.

He argued that the UNCRPD was incorporated into UK law by an EU Order which meant that it was an additional route to claim disability discrimination outside the Equality Act 2010.

The Claimant argued that the UNCRPD gave individuals rights which went beyond those protected in the Equality Act 2010, namely:

  • the right to the highest attainable standard of health
  • the right to rehabilitation
  • the right to work

Importantly, he argued that there were no time limits which applied to claims under the UNCRPD.

This was rejected by the ET at a preliminary hearing. The Claimant appealed, claiming that the ET failed to take into account all of the relevant legislation and case-law.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed the appeal, finding the UNCRPD does not contain provisions that are unconditional or sufficiently precise to give individuals the right to bring claims against their employers.

While the United Kingdom remains in the EU, UK (and other EU) citizens can recover damages from the UK government if a decision by a UK public authority based on a serious error of EU law has caused them loss. However, in this case, the claimant had not been deprived of any rights, which were contained in the Equality Act 2010.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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