Lambeth LBC v Commission for Racial Equality

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Lambeth LBC v Commission for Racial Equality
Court Court of Appeal
Citation(s) [1990] ICR 768

Lambeth LBC v Commission for Racial Equality [1990] ICR 768 is a UK labour law concerning exceptions from the rules prohibiting discrimination, now found in the Equality Act 2010 Schedule 9.


The Council reserved two positions for Afro-Caribbean or Asian applicants in the housing department. These groups were 50% of the council’s tenants. The Council wanted to be ‘more sensitive to the needs and experiences of black people’. Tribunal held that because the jobs involved limited contact with the public they did not involve ‘personal services’ under RRA 1976 s 5(2)(d). EAT [1989] ICR 641 rejected appeal.


Balcombe LJ looked at the dictionary definitions of ‘personal’ and said it would matter if there was face to face contact. It is a question of mixed law and fact. He found no error of law.

Mann LJ and Mustill LJ concurred.

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