Home / Cases / R o/a of Hottak & AL v Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Secretary of State for Defence

R o/a of Hottak & AL v Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Secretary of State for Defence

09/05/2016

Discrimination claim in relation to British Locally Engaged Staff / Interpreters in Afghanistan.

The Appellants argued that the Government’s scheme for Afghan staff (comprising separate intimidation and redundancy policies) was discriminatory because it was in some respects less favourable than the single scheme for staff employed during the Iraq conflict.

The Court of Appeal unanimously held that (1) the Appellants could not bring a claim under Part 5 (Work) of the Equality Act 2010 because their employment did not have a sufficient connection with the UK to found jurisdiction; (2) the Appellants were not permitted to bring a claim under Part 3 (Public Functions) of the 2010 Act because it did not apply to work–related claims excluded from Part 5, nor did it extend to claims other than in respect of the exercise of public functions in Great Britain; (3) The Afghan scheme was in any event found not to be discriminatory. The reason for the differences between the Afghan and Iraqi schemes was the different operational situation in those countries, not the nationality of the members of staff; (4) The Court would not interfere with the judgment of the Divisional Court which had ordered a declaration but no quashing order in respect of a claim for breach of the public sector equality duty.

Nicholas Moss KC led by Jonathan Swift KC (11KBW) acted for the MOD and FCO.

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