Caste Discrimination is Race Discrimination

In the case of Chandhok and another v Tirkey UKEAT/0190/14, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (“EAT”) found that the definition of “race” in the Equality Act 2010 (“EqA”), is wide enough to encompass caste. The fact that caste is not currently one of the protected characteristics under the EqA, did not prevent the claim proceeding on the basis of current law under the definition of race discrimination.

The decision in this case is helpful; even without caste discrimination expressly falling under the definition of race discrimination in the EqA, it suggests that caste can amount to an aspect of race discrimination.
It is anticipated that the EqA will be extended to cover caste discrimination at a later stage in 2015; until then, the position is dictated by case law.

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