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. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

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

4.76 Average

164 Reviews

Samantha K

Absolutely brilliant thank you. Caroline Lewis is a legend

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

The legal advice was clear and helpful.

Posted 1 week ago

Davinder P

Good Service

Posted 2 weeks ago

Adrian V

I was using Redmans services for a Settlement Agreement. Very quick and professional service. The outcome was favourable and I was very pleased with the amendments and results. Pretty glad to recommend them for any type of legal advice.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Very responsive, efficient, clear and supportive. Thank you! Highly recommend.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Tiago S

Chris was always prompt to help me with legal matters that are beyond my comprehension and very helpful leasing with my former employer. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors to everyone who needs help.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional advice tailored to what was needed. Thanks for your help Chris Hadrill and team.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Peter S

Really pleased with the outcome and the advice I had from Chris and Sacha.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Harika A

Redmans solicitor's helped me with my settlement agreement, Chris has been very helpful throughout the process.He was very prompt in his responses and made my settlement look simple.Special thanks to Caroline for her efficient communication, thorough explaination of contract terminology and negotiations.I highly reccommend Redmans solicitors for anyone seeking employment related legal help.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Good and quick service

Posted 3 weeks ago

Ricky D

Very satisfying to be assured of such attention and professionalism.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Excellent service - thankyou

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Efficient, timely and friendly support and advice

Posted 3 weeks ago

Ahmed S

They are always on hand when you need them and provide support even when its not necessary.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Nemen S

Wonderful experience.Chris was very responsive and provided an excellent service. A real professional who I would recommend to anyone

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Their guidance was clear and they provided me with all the information I required. Friendly yet professional

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Chris @ Redmans assisted me with an employment issue. Firstly, he was very proactive in coming back to my initial enquiry and then helped to clearly lay out the options that I had in relation to my position. He then assisted with the preparation of my case, which led to a very satisfactory outcome. I would highly recommend the quality of service & professionalism offered by Redmans Solicitors.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Great service

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Chris was very effective and decisive in dealing with my matter. I felt guided, and the pressure to make decisions was taken off my shoulders; he knew what needed to be done and I was happy to follow his advice. The result of the legal dispute was a great success for me. He is also kind and personable. The only thing that I would say it could be improved, is the accuracy of cost estimation at the beginning: not many activites, that could not have been forseen had to take place, but costs went up more than double in the end. Overall very good and trustworthy. I would definately recommend and use Redmans services again.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Liz P

An excellent professional service was provided by Chris Hadrill and Mel Chin. Efficient and trustworthy - would highly recommend this company.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Redmans Solicitors were great. They were able to advice me quickly and efficiently! I would recommend them, as a good solicitors to use.

Posted 1 month ago