U v Department for Work & Pensions
17th February 2017
The case asked the question whether an actual dismissal can amount in law to harassment under s26 of the Equality Act 2010. Martina Murphy argued on behalf of the Claimant that the ET were wrong in applying the decision in Timothy James Consulting Ltd v Wilton  IRLR 368 that constructive dismissal could not amount to harassment to an actual dismissal. Although distinguishing the Wilton judgment, the Hon Mr Justice Supperstone decided that there was no good reason for excluding an actual dismissal from the harassment jurisdiction and that a dismissal may be an affront to an employee’s dignity (para 69). This decision helpfully clarifies the boundaries of harassment, in particular in relation to dismissals.