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 first name (required)

Your last name (required)

Your email (required)

Your telephone number (required)

Brief details of your enquiry

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

204 Reviews

Anonymous

Excellent advice and customer service.

Posted 1 month ago

Aneet G

I would definitely recommend Redmans. Very impressed with service provided. They were extremely proactive in handling my case which made things easier for me. Provided sound advice and resolution. Special credit for this goes to Chris who dealt with my case with great determination and consideration.

Posted 1 month ago

Fern M

Very efficient and friendly

Posted 1 month ago

Neville S

A professional and friendly service, which I would highly recommend.

Posted 1 month ago

Daniel T

Extremely helpful and made a bad situation much more manageable. Where other solicitors seemed disinterested in my situation Redmans immediately made me feel like it was a team effort to achieve a more favourable outcome

Posted 1 month ago

Paul T

Excellent, quick and informative. Chris was a real star and gave me confidence during the uncertainty if a redundancy settlement.

Posted 1 month ago

Marina E

Felt in very capable hands was listened to and given excellent advice. Would not hesitate to recomend and use again if needed.

Posted 1 month ago

Rosa B

Fabulous service all round.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

Posted 1 month ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 1 month ago

Mathias G

Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

Posted 2 months ago

Mark W

Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Posted 3 months ago

submit

I am very glad I came across Redmans Solicitors. Fantastic service!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Fantastic communication, always happy to answer queries, highly recommended.

Posted 3 months ago

Wavenie B

They were very straight to the point, friendly and understanding people. I felt they had my best interest. They were easy to get hold of, replies were almost instant. 5/5 for customer service

Posted 3 months ago

Christina P

Caroline was fantastic to work with - extremely knowledgeable, supportive, thorough and honest. I definitely recommend Redmans!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Very well done and fast support. Professional and reliable. Highly recommended!

Posted 3 months ago

Helene L

They were very knowledgable in the respected area in terms of change in law/regulations that is crucial for the clients who are seeking for legal arvice.

Posted 3 months ago

Sara R

Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 3 months ago

Marie D

very good service all digitalised

Posted 3 months ago