• Robert Spicer

Sex discrimination: interim relief: human rights

SEX DISCRIMINATION

Interim relief

Human rights

Case Steer v Stormsure Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 887, Court of Appeal

Facts S was employed by S Ltd for four months. She alleged that her dismissal amounted to sex discrimination and victimisation for whistleblowing. She claimed interim relief. The ET found that it did not have jurisdiction to grant interim relief for the sex discrimination claim.

On appeal to the EAT, S argued that the right to claim interim relief for sex discrimination must be read into domestic law. EU law principles of effectiveness and equivalence required interim relief to be available. Further, the failure of UK law to make provision for interim relief amounted to discrimination against women. The appeal was dismissed and S appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Decision 1. The appeal was dismissed.

2. Interim relief in sex discrimination cases would completely change the availability of remedies in employment tribunal cases.

3. Extending interim relief to sex discrimination cases would force employment tribunals into substantial reordering of their listing priorities and would inevitably mean delays in other types of hearings.

4. The fact that a dismissed claimant in a whistleblowing case can claim interim relief whereas this can not be claimed in a sex discrimination case, cannot amount to discrimination on the ground of sex. Any discrimination claimant who has been dismissed cannot make an application for interim relief.

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