Woman awarded £184,000 in UK’s first Caste Discrimination case

A migrant worker from India has recently been awarded almost £184,000 compensation following the UK’s first successful claim of caste discrimination.

Permila Tirkey was recruited by Mr and Mrs Chandhok to work as a nanny and cleaner at their home in Milton Keynes. She was forced to work 18 hours per day, 7 days a week for as little as 11p per hour. Ms Tirkey who came from Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, claimed that she was mistreated by the Chandhoks, in part, because she was from a lower caste. The caste system is a system of social stratification which according to a 2014 article in the Equal Opportunities Review is associated with all the major religions in South Asia. From early 2015 employees in the UK who believe that they have suffered discrimination at work on the grounds of their caste have had the right to bring a race discrimination case in an employment tribunal.

The employment tribunal in this instance found that the Chandhoks travelled to India to recruit Ms Tirkey because “they wanted someone who would be not merely of service but servile” and that they did not seek to recruit someone from the UK as “no such person would have accepted the intended conditions of work”. They were subsequently ordered to pay Ms Tirkey £183,774 in unpaid wages as she had not been paid the national minimum wage.

Backhouse Solicitors are specialists in all areas of employment law. If you are an employee who has been affected by discrimination in the workplace or perhaps you are an employer facing a discrimination claim, contact us today for a FREE 30 minute consultation with one our expert solicitors.

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The Backhouse Solicitors Team