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Discrimination Time Limits

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[Thanks to James Medhurst of Employment Law Advocates for providing this case summary]

The Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in Aziz v FDA, which is authority for the proposition that, in considering whether separate incidents form part of "an act extending over a period" within section 68(7)(b) of the Race Relations Act 1976, one relevant but not conclusive factor is whether the same individuals or different individuals were involved in those incidents.

In this case, the Claimant had made allegations about three union officials failing to provide support over three different periods. While there was a prima facie case for saying that there was a continuing act of discrimination throughout each period, the Tribunal was entitled to find that they could not be joined to form a single continuing act, even though the Claimant alleged that the three individuals had been instructed by the Respondent to act in the way that they did.

Although the Claimant was unsuccessful, the Court thought that there was force in her submission that Kingston Upon Hull City Council v Matuszowicz [2009] IRLR 288, which says that a failure to make reasonable adjustments is an omission rather than an act, was of only limited assistance to this case, which concerned race rather than disability discrimination.