Practitioner group meetings

PGMs provide a unique opportunity for members to discuss discrimination law matters in an informal setting with diverse experts and practitioners. They are of particular interest to those advising and representing complainants. It is possible to join on the day to attend a PGM.

PGMs attract CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points through the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Meetings are usually in London, although the DLA hopes to make certain future meetings available by podcast through the website.

The views expressed during these meetings do not necessarily reflect the views of the DLA, and the DLA cannot be held responsible for any opinions or advice shared during PGMs, which constitute informal discussions between members.

The new Public Sector Duties (DDA and Equality Act)

January 2007

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 amended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) to insert the disability equality duty – known as the general duty – into the Act. The duty is aimed at tackling systemic discrimination, and ensuring that public authorities build disability equality into everything that they do. In addition, the Equality Act has introduced a similar duty on public authorities in relation to gender.

This PGM led by Catherine Casserley of the DRC and Jill Brown of Outer Temple Chambers examines the requirements of the duties and looks at how they might be used more generally in litigation carried out on behalf of disabled people and in litigation dealing with gender issues. Briefing 445, Vol.31 contains notes from the meeting.

Statutory Dispute Resolution Procedures

October 2006

This PGM was part of the DLA's consultation with members regarding the impact of the statutory dispute resolution procedures on discrimination cases. The EAT case of Edebi [2006] was discussed, along with indications of the statutory dispute resolution procedures leading to increased formality and an escalation of disputes. Briefing 431 in Vol. 29 contains related analysis.

Age discrimination: The new law

June 2006

Karon Monaghan of Matrix Chambers presents on the new anti-discrimination provisions relating to age: Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. Definitions, including a comparison with the Framework Directive, the obligations on employers, and exceptions are discussed in the light of case law. Contentious points, including provisions relating to retirement are also analysed.

Taxing discrimination

June 2006

This PGM, led by Anne Fairpo an expert in corporate taxation issues, discusses tax issues relating to discrimination cases, including provisions of the ITEPA: Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003. Questions include whether or not income tax is applied by HM Revenue & Customs to discrimination-related awards such as damages for injury to feelings, severance payments, and compesation.

Defining disability: case law and the new Guidance

May 2006

Meeting the definition of disability - the "passport" to being protected by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (the Act) - continues to be the subject of many of the cases heard by the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The Disability Discrimination Act of 2005 amended the definition of disability in December 2005, and new Guidance comes into effect in May regarding definitions of disability, which must be taken into account by courts and tribunals.

Catherine Casserley, Barrister-at-law, Senior Legislation Adviser Disability Rights Commission, presents a paper looking at the caselaw on definition and the new guidance.