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Posted by on in Discrimination
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Commission intervenes in Supreme Court discrimination case

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has intervened in a case before the UK’s Supreme Court to argue that volunteers should be given protection against discrimination.

The case involves X who gave advice on welfare law as a Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) volunteer. She was told to leave her role, which included writing submissions, when she made the Bureau aware of her HIV status.

UK law does not provide volunteers with protection from discrimination – for example being victimised or being asked to leave purely on the grounds of disability, age, religion or sexual orientation.

As an independent third party expert on human rights and equality law, the Commission is intervening to offer guidance to the Supreme Court on how the  European Directive for Equal Treatment in Employment and Occupation, should be interpreted to provide protection for volunteers.

To date, domestic courts which have heard the case have decided that the Directive does not protect volunteers from discrimination

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