Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Our employment law “case of the week” this week is Abusabib & Anor v Taddese UKEAT/0424/11/ZT, a case involving various allegations of discrimination and a contention of diplomatic immunity on the part of the Respondent.

The facts in Abusabib & Anor v Taddese

Ms Taddese (“the Claimant”) worked for the Dr Hassan Ali Abusabib (“the first Respondent”) for a period of time as a housemaid. The first Respondent was – for a period – First Secretary to the Sudanese Embassy, from 29th June 2005 to (although there was some confusion as to this) on 25 December 2007. The Claimant’s employment with the Respondent ended upon the termination of the first Respondent’s post and his leaving the United Kingdom (11 May 2008). The Claimant filed an Employment Tribunal claim in March 2010 – nearly two years after the date her employment terminated – contending that she had suffered sexual harassment, direct race discrimination and race-related harassment, and religion or belief-related harassment. Further, she contended that she had received no written particulars of her contract of employment and that unauthorised deductions from her wages. The Employment Tribunal dismissed her deduction of wages claim but allowed her discrimination claims to proceed on the basis that it was just and equitable to do so. Although there were complicating issues as to the correct address for service of the ET1 the Employment Tribunal issued judgment in default on 19 November 2010, awarding the Claimant just over £70,000 in total. The Respondent appealed against this decision on 14 December 2010 on the basis that the Respondent had diplomatic immunity under the Diplomatic and Privileges Immunities Act 1964. However, the Respondent did not apply for a review of the decision until August 2011. The application for review was therefore refused but the appeal proceeded.

The law relating to diplomatic immunity and UK employment law

The Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 (“the 1964 Act”) provides by section 2 (1) that articles of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations signed in 1961 have the force of law in the UK. Under the 194 Act diplomatic agents enjoy immunity from the criminal, civil and administrative jurisdictions in which they are posted. Under s.39(2) of the 1964 Act this immunity continues after the termination of the posting if the relevant acts were in exercise of their functions as a member of the mission.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision in Abusabib & Anor v Taddese

The Respondent argued that he possessed immunity from civil suits under the 1964 Act. The Claimant contended that her employment was outside the exercise of the Respondent’s functions as a member of the mission and that he was therefore not protected under diplomatic immunity. The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the Claimant’s employment as a housemaid at his domestic residence was at best peripheral to his functions as a diplomat of the Sudanese embassy and that he was therefore not protected from immunity.

Our expert employment lawyers’ thoughts on Abusabib & Anor v Taddese

This is an extremely interesting and quite unusual case, the facts of which aren’t usually seen in the Employment Tribunal. The “takeaway message” from this case is that in such circumstances it’s important to distinguish employment for the exercise of the functions of a member of a diplomatic mission (such as, for example, a PA) and employment which is peripheral to these purposes (such as – as in this instance – a position as a housemaid or a gardener).

logo_website

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees

Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk.

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.52 Average

21 Reviews

Redman's provided excellent legal employment advice for me during a difficult time in my employment. Chris was my lawyer, super efficient, quick, reliable and clearly very experienced in the matter. Could not ask for a better law firm to deal with your query if you are in need of some help. Would definitely use them again in the future. Highly recommending Chris.

Posted 1 month ago

Steven

Chris Hadrill was very professional and responsive. I would highly recommend him

Posted 1 month ago

Dinah

Very Efficient, with very quick email reply’s. I had a matter that needed resolving within a very short space of time and Redmans Solicitors were great with dealing with my matter quickly.

Posted 1 month ago

Ankar

At Redmans the solicitor that was dealing with me was Chris. He dealt with my situation smoothly with clear guidance and explanation

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Clear, concise advice and guidance delivered by an experienced and very capable solicitor, within the timelines required

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very efficient service. I never had to wIt for more than a day for a reply to any of my queries and the matter was dealt with swiftly.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very timely, thorough and helpful advice. Friendly and considerate of the needs of the client

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very prompt and attention to detail. Thank you for the service

Posted 2 months ago

Chris

Couldn’t be happier with how Redmans successfully handled our seemingly tricky case. By being clear and detailed every step of the way, with the utmost professionalism and courtesy, they made it an informative and eye-opening process, taking the stress out of the situation and ultimately delivered what you would want from such a service. I fully appreciate everything they have done, and if I am ever in need of such services in the future, they will be the first number I contact. Excellent.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent work delivered with great quality

Posted 2 months ago

Dominic

Chris Hadrill was a great help both in terms of his advice and his expertise. He explained my options to me clearly and concisely enabling me to quickly make the right decision for me in the circumstance. I would not hesitate to recommend Chris or Redmans to friends or colleagues, and would certainly make Redmans my first port of call should I require a similar service in the future.

Posted 2 months ago

Kurt

Redmans gave excellent advice and helped me understand everything in clear concepts. Thank you!

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Resolved my issues

Posted 2 months ago

Keith

Quick fast professional service.

Posted 2 months ago

Michael

"Prompt, efficient and practical advice that resulted in me getting some additional money tax free."

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Patient and thorough advice given to me around my Settlement Agreement

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

"Excellent service, getting back to you promptly giving you very good advice."

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

I found Chris Hadrill to be an excellent help, he is very knowledgeable and gives good ,concise ,strategic advice .He makes himself readily accessible when you need him.I would personally highly recommend him.

Posted 2 months ago

Christine

Professional, efficient and reliable service provided. I strongly recommend them and I would use this service again.

Posted 2 months ago