The recent cases of Ms Taiwo and Ms Onu, both migrant domestic workers treated badly for an extended period by their employers and recognised as victims of trafficking, were heard in the Supreme Court in April.
On 22nd June The Supreme Court judgment ruled that the workers, although vulnerable due to immigration status, are not protected by the race discrimination provisions in the Equality Act 2010. The Court declared that the women deserve a remedy for all the grievous harms they have suffered however there is a current gap in the law which prevents the court redressing these harms. The Court urged parliament to revisit the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
James Robottom represented Ms Onu on a pro bono basis from the Employment Tribunal through to the Supreme Court. James specialises in claims on behalf of victims of forced labour, human trafficking, and modern slavery, and works closely with ATLEU. In 2014 he was part of a team of lawyers asked to contribute to a draft amendment to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 with a view to establishing a statutory tort. James is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Preferred Counsel.
Read the judgment here.