Are volunteers able to bring an employment tribunal claim for discrimination? That’s the question that the Supreme Court were asked to address in the case of X v Mid-Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau.
The question centred on the issue of whether volunteers fall within the definition of “occupation” – if so, they would be entitled to legal protection from discrimination.
The answer from the Supreme Court was no – a volunteer cannot make a discrimination claim for their dismissal. In rejecting the appeal by an HIV positive volunteer for the local Citizens Advice Bureau that she was dismissed on account of her disability, the court gave a number of reasons, including the following in particular;
1. That EU law contains no principle of equality – legal protection from discrimination is only available in specific situations
2. Positions held by Employees and Volunteers are not the same and therefore there was no legal principle for them to be treated in the same way
This case is a good illustration have our very complex employment law can be. Whether you are an employer or employee, don’t take any chances – call our experienced employment law solicitors for legal advice you can trust – member that your initial phone call is free – and no win no fee arrangements are available for selected employment tribunal claims [for both employers and employees].