The government will allow coverage of caste discrimination to develop through case law, rather than including it expressly in the Equality Act.
Caste is not expressly included among the protected characteristics in the EqA. However the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Chandhok v Tirkey (2014) held that in at least some circumstances caste should fall within the existing Equality Act definition of ‘race’.
The government asked for views on whether to expressly incorporate caste into the EqA definition of race, or leave coverage of caste discrimination to develop through case law such as Chandhok.
The government announced in July that it has decided on the latter www.gov.uk/government/consultations/caste-in-great-britain-and-equality-law-a-public-consulation . Given the EAT judgment in Chandhok, the government considers it likely that anyone who believes they have been discriminated against because of caste could bring a race discrimination claim under the existing ethnic origins provisions of the EqA.
The government adds that it will keep any new court cases of caste discrimination under review.