Associative Discrimination in Britain and in the European Union: a still too Elastic Concept?

Pierre De Gioia Carabellese, Robert J. Colhoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of associative discrimination to which the latest decision, delivered by the Court of Justice of the European Union in Attridge Law v Coleman, has virtually given the green light to jurisdictions across the European Union, is addressed in this contribution in regard to its inherent implications for employers – with the inevitable negative repercussions which will be felt – and, from a legal perspective, to the lack of clarity in which this relatively new concept continues to be shrouded, i.e. whether it covers the specific prohibited conduct of “indirect discrimination” as well. In analysing the “judicial” notion and the elastic nature of discrimination, the authors embark upon an extensive examination of the British legislation in this matter, which more recently has culminated in a comprehensive statute – the Equality Act 2010 – replete with a full bounty of “protected characteristics” previously scattered across multifarious pieces of legislation, of an equality character. The discussion goes on to draw a comparison between Britain and a further EU jurisdiction – the Italian one – in order to identify analogies and differences in respect to the modalities and methodologies whereby the concept of associative discrimination has been implemented at legislative level and interpreted doctrinally in each over the last decade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-261
Number of pages15
JournalE-Journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Associative Discrimination in Britain and in the European Union: a still too Elastic Concept?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this