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Tag Archive

Caste Discrimination: EAT Confirms Earlier Decision

Way back in March 2014 we reported on the Employment Tribunal case of Tirkey –v- Mr & Mrs Chandok. This matter for those that recall or indeed have come across its more recent publicity in the mainstream press, concerned Ms Tirkey who was a domestic servant for Mr and Mrs Chandok, initially in India and then later in the UK. Ms Tirkey was recruited in India for the specific task of serving the couple.

Ms Tirkey was of the Adivasi people, who some in India consider to be of a servant or lower ‘caste’. Upon being brought to the UK Ms Tirkey claimed that she was being essentially kept as a modern slave. She alleged that she was paid well below the minimum wage at 11p per hour, as well that she was on call 24 hours a day, made to sleep on the floor, prevented from contacting her family or controlling her own bank account.

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Is caste protected by the Equality Act 2010?

Avid followers of employment law will be aware that under the Equality Act 2010 (EQA) the Secretary of State retains power to make ‘caste’ a protected characteristic for discrimination purposes. However, the government has made it clear that it will not exercise this power until there has been wider public consultation.

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