Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

In this Employment Appeal Tribunal case it was held that the Claimant was not in fact stigmatised as a result of his issuing Employment Tribunal proceedings for unfair dismissal.

The facts in Ur- Rehman v Doncaster Jahia Mosque

Mr Ur-Rehman (“the Claimant”) was an imam who worked at the Mosque in Doncaster (“the Respondent”) between 2006 and 16 April 2009. In 2009 the Mosque decided (with good reason) that the imam that worked there would need to speak English. The Claimant could not speak English and the Respondent considered that he would not be able to do so in a reasonable period of time. The Mosque therefore decided to dismiss the Claimant and, believing him not to be an employee, dismissed him without utilising a grievance procedure. The Claimant subsequently filed a claim for unfair dismissal and did in fact obtain a number of positions between the date of his dismissal and the date of the Employment Tribunal hearing. He did, however, claim that he had been dismissed form his latest post as an imam at the Abu Haneefa Educational Trust (“AHET”) because he was being stigmatised as a result of his claim for unfair dismissal.

It was found at a preliminary hearing that he was in fact an employee. The Employment Tribunal subsequently found in the Claimant’s favour in his unfair dismissal claim but (utilising the Polkey rule) limited past loss to just 26 weeks from the date of the effective date of termination to the date that a hypothetical fair dismissal would have occurred. The ET rejected his claim that he had been stigmatised. The Claimant appealed on the following points:

  1. That he had in fact been stigmatised and that the Employment Tribunal had applied the incorrect legal test
  2. That the Employment Judge had erred in determining that the Claimant had taken holidays (on the balance of probabilities) and that the Claimant was therefore owed holiday pay

The law relating to stigma after an unfair dismissal

If an employee is unfairly dismissed then they are entitled to claim compensation for their losses from the date of their dismissal to a date that the Employment Tribunal deems reasonable. However, if the dismissed employee encounters difficulties finding new employment because future potential employers decided not to employ him because of his issuing Employment Tribunal proceedings against his previous employer. This was established in the Court of Appeal case of Abbey National plc v Chagger [2009] EWCA Civ 1202.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s judgment in Ur- Rehman v Doncaster Jahia Mosque

The Employment Appeal Tribunal rejected the Claimant’s appeal on both grounds. It found that the Claimant had not established that he had suffered a stigma on the balance of probabilities. The Claimant had managed to obtain temporary employment a short time after his dismissal and then was able to obtain more permanent employment at the AHET after that. This suggested that he had not been stigmatised by the Employment Tribunal proceedings. Further, the Claimant was inconsistent in his evidence relating to holidays and had admitted that he had been permitted to take holidays. The second ground of the appeal therefore failed.

Our specialist employment lawyers’ views on Ur- Rehman v Doncaster Jahia Mosque

This is an interesting case for a number of reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates that if the Claimant is a poor witness it makes winning the case a significantly more difficult prospect. Opposing Counsel in this case was able to demonstrate factual inconsistencies in the Claimants evidence to great effect. Secondly, the Employment Tribunal found that as a matter of fact imams can be employees rather than office-holders. Finally, a Claimant must show that their search for a job has been significantly affected by the fact that they’ve issued Employment Tribunal proceedings. They must therefore gather evidence of applications and the reasons for any rejection.

Redmans are employment solicitors in Richmond, London.

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog. Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

Tagged with →  

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

    4.77 Average

    205 Reviews

    Gary P

    All good advice, prompt and efficient

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent advice and customer service.

    Posted 2 months 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 2 months ago

    Fern M

    Very efficient and friendly

    Posted 2 months ago

    Neville S

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

    Posted 2 months 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 2 months ago

    Paul T

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

    Posted 2 months 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 2 months ago

    Rosa B

    Fabulous service all round.

    Posted 2 months 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 2 months ago

    Alkhas K

    Excellent service.

    Posted 2 months 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 3 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 4 months ago

    Anonymous

    Posted 4 months ago

    submit

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

    Posted 4 months ago

    Anonymous

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

    Posted 4 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 4 months ago

    Christina P

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

    Posted 4 months ago

    Anonymous

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

    Posted 4 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 4 months ago

    Sara R

    Very helpful and wonderful advice

    Posted 4 months ago