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

    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    320 Reviews

    Anonymous

    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 3 days ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 6 days ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 2 months ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 2 months ago

    ""

    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 2 months ago

    William A

    Second time I have had to use Redmans. They did not disappoint. They are fast , efficient and friendly. I have already recommended them to friends and colleagues. I hope I dont have to use them again but if I have to , they are the solicitors for me.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Fleeta C

    Great service with tantastic communications. The solicitor responsible is extremely knowledgeable and was responsible for bringing a timely and desired solution.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Veronica M

    Extremely helpful, starting from a request for advice at very short notice, to dedicating time for me to understand and review all documents thoroughly.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sophie R

    Very efficient and professional service. Chris was very empathetic, knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended.

    Posted 2 months ago