Volunteers not protected by discrimination law

02 February 2011
Volunteers not protected by discrimination law

The Court of Appeal has concluded that volunteers are not protected under UK discrimination law.

The court case concerned a volunteer from Mid Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau, who was asked to stop volunteering for a reason related to her disability.

The court's decision in this case pivoted on whether the Disability Discrimination Act protects individuals not working under an employment contract - and whether the DDA breaches European discrimination law. The answer to both questions was negative. Therefore volunteers will not qualify for protection from workplace discrimination.

Although this case concerns the Disability Discrimination Act, commentators argue that contrary to guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Equality Act 2010 is unlikely to protect volunteers from discrimination.

For a previous discussion of volunteers' protection from discrimination, see our earlier blog post on HRBird.

Please note that HRBird by its very nature offers general information. If you're looking for advice specific to your situation, speak to an HR professional or solicitor. Got a question on staff or volunteers? To submit an anonymous query for the HRBird blog, contact us.

 

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