Institute and Faculty of Actuaries ordered to pay £38,000 in ‘direct discrimination’ case

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Exclusive: The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries is considering appealing against a ruling, after an employment tribunal decided it must pay nearly £38,000 to a Zurich employee after it “directly discriminated” against him.

Included in the amount is £16,000 for injury to feelings, plus interest of £11,520.

Also included in this was £10,446.27 for future economic loss.

The claimant, named as Zurich employee R Davda, argued the institute had discriminated against him on four counts while he was attempting to gain IFA fellowship.

Davda had failed a number of the body’s exams, which members have two opportunities to take per year. 

However members of the Institute of Actuaries of India, who can join its British counterpart, have the opportunity to take an additional two exams with the other body.

Indian members of the IAI can join the IFoA, but British members of the IFoA cannot join the IAI, which Davda alleged was discriminatory in that he had fewer chances to pass exams than members of both institutes.

Davda’s claim was unanimously upheld, documents show.

The judgment preceding the determination of settlement stated: “The respondent directly discriminated against the claimant, a British national because of race in respect of the number of opportunities it gave him to pass examinations to qualify as a fellow of the respondent, compared to the number of opportunities it gave to Indian nationals.

“Alternatively, the respondent subjected the claimant to indirect race discrimination by offering only two sittings of its examinations per annum, while granting exemptions to equivalent examinations set by the Indian Actuarial Institute and in the circumstances that the respondent’s introduction of curriculum 2019 gave the claimant only two years in which to pass the relevant outstanding exams.

“The respondent did not subject the claimant to indirect race discrimination by requiring that, in order to be regarded as a fully qualified actuary of the respondent, a member of the respondent must be appointed as a fellow of the respondent.

“The respondent subjected the claimant to direct race discrimination by directly or indirectly instructing, causing, inducing and or aiding the Indian Actuarial Institute not to admit British nationals as students.”

When contacted by Post, the IFoA shared this statement: “The IFoA is naturally concerned by the outcome of this case.

 ”In particular, the IFoA has contested throughout its involvement in any discriminatory arrangement or understanding with the Institute of Actuaries of India. We are therefore  disappointed in this aspect of the judgment and, on the advice of our external lawyers, have lodged an application for permission to appeal. We will be considering whether to proceed with any appeal in light of the damages awarded, and therefore we do not consider it appropriate to comment further at this stage given that the legal proceedings remain live.”

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Jen Frost @jeninsurance

 

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