RAXII Ltd is a restaurant company based in the south of England. It makes a point of
being a fair trade restaurant and an ethical business and employer. Some years ago it
adopted non-contractual grievance and disciplinary and dismissal procedures based on the
then statutory model. It claims to be “an equal opportunities employer” and has a
harassment policy, which lists examples of behaviour that could amount to harassment and
details the action that will be taken against staff.
A number of issues have recently arisen.
Terry has worked for the firm for eighteen months. His role includes sourcing food and
drink for the firm. He suspects that their main supplier of French foodstuffs is using
unethically produced food but labelling it as ethically produced. He has informed his line
manager but has been told not to ‘rock the boat’ with the supplier, that they are getting a
good price and that the contract is regulated under French law. Ren is uneasy at having to
deal with a salesperson for a wine dealer which supplies wine to the firm who often makes
homophobic comments to him which makes him feel uncomfortable.
Marie is employed as a receptionist and she started working for the firm six months ago.
She has been told that she must wear high heeled shoes in order to maintain the correct
image (and men in similar front-facing roles must wear polished black shoes; unless in
both cases a reasonable adjustment is made for disability). Sonia, a devout Christian, is
employed as a waitress. She has been told that she cannot wear a small crucifix openly
around her neck.
Viv is in her mid-30s and has been a sous chef for 4 years. She has a number of speciality
dishes, run some lucrative private dining events, and held a prestigious, short-term culinary
fellowship. When, ten weeks ago, she was contemplating applying for promotion to
Executive Chef she was firmly told by a manager that she was still very young (for such a
post) and more experience was required and as such she would be unlikely to be shortlisted
for the post.
Don has applied for a job dealing with finance for the firm. He has not been offered the
job and has been told that he would not fit in with the team. He suffers from Albinism
which does not affect his day to day activities but which unsettles his potential line
manager (who pointed out to the interview panel that it refusing to employ would not be in
breach of EU law as that protected racial or ethnic origins). Igor has applied for a waiting
role. He is physically fit, conscientious and a good communicator. He has been told,
starkly, that he is not sufficiently handsome for the role.
Answer ALL of the following questions:
1. Terry has raised further concerns about the supplier and has been dismissed. A
sympathetic colleague has told him that even if he is successful damages are likely to be
very low as they are capped. Discuss potential claims that he could bring against the firm.
2. Consider the prospects of any claims Marie and Sonia may individually bring under the
Equality Act 2010.
3. Outline whether the Equality Act 2010 may apply to Viv’s, Don’s and Igor’s situations
(you should not consider remedies for this question)