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Discrimination: Employee's illegal acts prevent race discrimination remedy

This report relates to 1 case(s)

  • expand disabled

    Vakante v Addey & Stanhope School [2004] All ER (D) 561 (Jul) CA (0 other reports)

Key Points

In Vakante v Addey & Stanhope School, the Court of Appeal holds that:

  • The extent of the employee's illegal and criminal conduct was such that it prevented him from pursuing a race discrimination claim. If the court had allowed him to proceed, it would have amounted to condoning his illegal conduct and permitting him to derive benefit from it.
  • The Court of Appeal applied and approved the test in Hall v Woolston Hall Leisure Ltd [2000] IRLR 578, which stated that the correct approach in cases involving illegality and statutory torts, such as sex and race discrimination, was "to consider whether the applicant's claim arises out of, or is so inextricably bound up, with her illegal conduct that the court could not permit the applicant to recover compensation without appearing to condone that conduct."
  • The Court did not adopt the approach in Leighton v Michael [1995] ICR 1091 which, it was argued, was authority for the proposition that illegality could never defeat a discrimination claim. In this case, the illegality was clearly on the part of the employee; was extensive and deliberate; and went to the basic content of the employment relationship.