Employment law: Is the volunteer discrimination ruling fair?

Employment law: Is the volunteer discrimination ruling fair?

A court ruling this week which denied volunteer workers equal anti-discrimination employment protection enjoyed by staff has come under fire.

In a landmark judgement the court of appeal ruled against a woman, named only as “X” who claimed she had been discriminated against because of disability.

Instead Lord Justice Elias ruled in favour of Mid-Sussex Citizens Advice, who had told the woman to cease volunteering for them.

In November 2009, “X” also lost an employment tribunal hearing against Citizens Advice.

The outcome means voluntary workers are not protected by the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act 1995 unless there is a legal contract between the volunteer and the employer.

The ruling has been criticised as unfair by, amongst others, the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Do you agree the court judgement is unfair?

Or should employers carry the liability for volunteer staff?

Join the debate in the Findlaw Community, where you’ll find answer to most major topics within UK law.

Related articles
Volunteers not covered by anti-discrimination law (ThirdSector.co.uk)
Learn about employment law in the UK (Findlaw.co.uk)
More about discrimination in the workplace (Findlaw.co.uk)
Find a UK solicitor in your area

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