Employment Expert Backs Calls For Caste Discrimination Clarity

UN Recommendation Puts Issue On The Radar

30.09.2011

An employment law expert at Irwin Mitchell has welcomed fresh calls for the government to create more clarity over the treatment of caste discrimination in UK legislation.

The issue has been on the radar since the government chose not to add caste to the currently recognised definitions of race when the Equality Act was introduced last year.

However, recent developments – including the first case to cite caste discrimination in the UK and a United Nations recommendation for the issue to be recognised – have once again put concerns over the issue under the spotlight.

According to Matthew Brain, a Partner and employment law specialist based in Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, there are understandably long-held concerns over caste discrimination which urgently need to be addressed.

He explained: “The Equality Act exists to of course provide clear guidance on discrimination and how it can be both avoided and dealt with effectively in all kinds of workplace situations.

“However, there remains the general view that it falls down in a respect when it comes to caste, particularly as recent events suggest it is an area where clarity is clearly needed.

“The government has been examining this issue for around a year and it is clear that both employers and legal specialists are now very keen to see the results of that research.

“Ultimately, all of those parties want to do all they can to ensure workers are able to carry out their responsibilities free from the any concerns of discrimination. Because of this, we hope that these concerns over caste issues can be urgently assessed.”