In the recent case of Osbourne Clarke Services and Mr A Purohit the EAT upheld the Tribunal’s decision that refusing to consider applications from non-EEA nationals amounted to indirect race discrimination.

This case concerned an individual of Indian origin who had a 1st degree and a 2.1 degree who had applied for a solicitor training contract with Osbourne Clarke Services (OCS). His application was not considered as OCS had a policy not to consider applications for training contracts where individuals required permission from the Border and Immigration Agency to work in the UK, i.e. required a permit to work. This directly affected non-EEA nationals who required work permits to work in the UK.

As the OCS were unable to justify their policy the EAT held that it amounted to indirect race discrimination.