Coleman v Attridge Law (A Firm) and Another (Case C-303/06)

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal
Judgment Date30 October 2009
Neutral Citation[2006] UKEAT 0417_06_2012,[2009] UKEAT 0071_09_3010
Date30 October 2009

Employment Appeal Tribunal

Before Mr Justice Underhill, President

EBR Attridge Law LLP (formerly Attridge Law) (a Firm) and Another
Associative discrimination falls within European equal treatment directive

The carer of a disabled son who was not herself disabled was entitled to bring a claim of disability discrimination against her employers on the ground of her son's disability.

Following a decision of the European Court of Justice (Case C-306/06)TLRICR (The Times July 29, 2008; [2008] ICR 1123), on a reference by an employment judge, that associative discrimination fell within the terms of the Equal Treatment Framework Directive (2000/78/EC) (OJ 2000 L303/16), Mr Justi ce Underhill, sitting alone in the Employment Appeal Tribunal, held that the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 could be interpreted so as to apply to such discrimination as a matter of domestic law.

The appeal tribunal dismissed an appeal by EBR Attridge Law LLP (formerly Attridge Law) and Mr Steve Law, solicitor, a partner in the firm, from a decision of Miss M. Stacey, chairman of a South London employment tribunal, sent to the parties on November 26, 2008, that the tribunal had jurisdiction to hear a claim of disability discrimination by the claimant, Ms Sharon Coleman: see alsoTLRICR (The Times January 12, 2007; [2007] ICR 654).

Section 3A(5) of the 1995 Act, inserted by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations (SI 2003 No 1673), provides: "(5) A person directly discriminates against a disabled person if, on the ground of the disabled person's disability, he treats the disabled person less favourably than he treats or would treat a person not having that particular disability whose relevant circumstances including his abilities, are the same as, or not materially different from, those of the disabled person."

Section 3B provides for discrimination on the ground of harassment.

Mr Adam Solomons for Mr Law; Mr Paul Mitchell for Ms Coleman; EBR Attridge Law did not appear and was not represented.

THE PRESIDENT said that the European Court of Justice had acknowledged that the Equal Treatment Directive made no express reference to associative discrimination and that its specific provisions appeared to be directed only at cases where the claimant was disabled. But it had held th at the objects of the Directive required a broader approach.

The employment judge had decided that she was obliged to interpret the statute so as to conform with the...

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29 cases
  • Hainsworth v Ministry of Defence Equality and Human Rights Commission (Intervener)
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 13 May 2014
    ...That seems to me, if anything, to underline the point. 21 The issue of association, however, brings me to the important case of Coleman v Attridge Law [2008] All ER (EC) 1105. The claimant there was employed as a legal secretary. She gave birth to a disabled son. She was his primary carer. ......
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    • Labour Court (Ireland)
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  • British Gas Trading Ltd v Lock and Others
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 7 October 2016
    ...of the Directive. He referred by way of example to the EAT's decision in EBR Attridge LLP (formerly Attridge Law) and another v. Coleman [2010] ICR 242. The question there was whether the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended in 2004 so as to transpose the effect......
  • Onu v Akwiwu and another
    • United Kingdom
    • Employment Appeal Tribunal
    • Invalid date
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1 firm's commentaries
  • Anthony Korn Examines The Potential Implications Of Brexit On Employment Law
    • United Kingdom
    • Mondaq UK
    • 20 July 2016 amend or 'read in' wording to our domestic law which gives effect to those Directives. For example in EBR Attridge Law LLP v Coleman [2010] IRLR 10 the EAT in effect rewrote Section 3B of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (now Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010) to include a right ......
4 books & journal articles
  • The curious case of marriage/civil partnership discrimination in Britain
    • United Kingdom
    • International Journal of Discrimination and the Law Nbr. 12-3, September 2012
    • 1 September 2012
    ...inwhole subsections to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in order to comply with EU lawin EBR Attridge Law LLP & Anor v Coleman [2010] ICR 242 (EAT).66. Hurley v Mustoe [1981] ICR 49 (EAT). While marriage remains the most common setting forbirths in England, the percentage has fall......
  • ‘All About That Bass’? Is non‐ideal‐weight discrimination unlawful in the UK?
    • United Kingdom
    • The Modern Law Review Nbr. 79-2, March 2016
    • 1 March 2016
    ......’.134 See the description of the Tribunal’s decision in EBR Attridge LLP (formerly Attridge Law) andanother vColeman [2010] ICR 242, 256; and in Attridge Law and another vColeman [2007] ICR654, 659-660.135 Proposal for Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment be......
  • Outside the Equality Act
    • United Kingdom
    • International Journal of Discrimination and the Law Nbr. 15-4, December 2015
    • 1 December 2015 the face of thewording of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, see EBR Attridge Law LLP (formerlyAttridge Law) v. Coleman [2010] ICR 242.11. The Explanatory Notes to the Equality Act 2010 state that it is ‘technically no longer treated asa form of discrimination’ but ignores the effec......
  • Disability Discrimination by Association: A Case of the Double Yes?
    • United Kingdom
    • Social & Legal Studies Nbr. 20-2, June 2011
    • 1 June 2011
    ...and that therefore they are valuable, but different and dis-tinct from economic logic. Cases Cited Attridge Law and S. Law v Coleman [2007] ICR 654 EATCarpenter v Secretary of State for the Home Department (C-60/00) [2002] ECR I-6279Coleman v Attridge Law (C-303/06) [2008] ECR I-05603Commis......

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