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Sex discrimination: Discrimination complaint valid despite illegal contract

This report relates to 1 case(s)

An industrial tribunal was wrong to decide that it had no jurisdiction to hear an employee's complaint of sex dixcrimination on the basis that her contract was tainted with illegality, holds the EAT in Leighton v Michael and another 19.10.95 EAT 992/94. An employee's statutory rights with regard to unfair dismissal and redundancy are directly founded upon his or her contract of employment and its termination by dismissal, and so those rights are unenforceable if the contract is illegal. However, according to the EAT, an employee's complaint under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 is not founded upon, nor concerned with the enforcement of his or her contract, and there is nothing in the Act or in public policy which disqualifies the complainant from protection because the contract is illegal in its purpose or performance.