Harassment outside of the office working hours

Case: Aerospace Composite Technology Ltd v Sidhu

In this case, the Claimant was subject to a racially motivated assault by a fellow employee during a work organised day trip. The initial Tribunal concluded that the assault was not in the course of the employment because the day trip was to a public theme park, it happened during non-working hours and the majority of the attendees were friends and families and not employees of the Company. This outcome was challenge by the Claimant and the Court of Appeal concluded that the Tribunal’s decision was not perverse but it also said that a different Tribunal could have legitimately reached another verdict.

This case shows that employers need to remember that social events, however loosely connected with the working environment, can give rise to claims against the employer.

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