Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld the Employment Tribunal’s (ET) decision in finding that an organisation did not go far enough in preventing racial harassment and was thus liable for the harassment faced by the claimant. The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against unlawful direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation for all protected characteristics. The focus of this case is race. Harassment is unlawful where a person is subjected to unwanted conduct…

Equality

The EAT has dismissed a victimisation claim, ruling that wording used by the claimant in a grievance was not sufficient to amount to a ‘protected act’. As she was an experienced in HR, her wording called into question whether she believed she was discriminated against at the time.    The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against unlawful direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation for the protected characteristic of ‘sex’. Victimisation occurs where an employer…

Family friendly and flexible working rights , Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered whether a policy that removed contracted rest days due to the taking of parental leave was indirectly discriminatory against women. Employees who qualify have a right to take up to 18 weeks' unpaid parental leave in total for the purposes of caring for a child, which is usually limited to four weeks per year. This applies equally to both male and female workers. Under the Equality Act 2010, Indirect sex discrimination occurs when a provision…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered whether a tribunal erred by permitting evidence to be admitted into proceedings that was not included on the ET3 form.    Under the Equality Act 2010, direct race discrimination occurs where a person is treated, or would be treated, less favourably ‘because of’ race compared with others in like-for-like circumstances. In bringing a claim, the claimant needs to demonstrate that they have been subjected to unfavourable treatment. Once this is…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld a ruling that a pregnant police officer was discriminated against due to a policy that instructed pregnant officers to be transferred to a desk-based role. In situations where an employee notifies the organisation that they are pregnant, a risk assessment may deem it necessary to temporarily alter their usual duties or role in order to keep them safe during their pregnancy. This needs to be approached carefully by organisations in order to avoid…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that in circumstances where there is no evidence of a disability on the date of an alleged act of discrimination, a tribunal is entitled to consider all evidence available from around this date and infer that a disability was present at the relevant time. Under the Equality Act 2010, a person is said to be disabled if they have a condition that is a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on someone’s…

Equality

The Court of Appeal has held that indirect age discrimination can potentially be justified on the basis of saving costs to balance company books. The Equality Act 2010 outlines that indirect age discrimination is when a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) is applied to everyone and is apparently age neutral, but which: disadvantages more people in one age group than in another causes an individual employee a disadvantage is not justifiable as ‘a proportionate means of achieving a…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has provided clarity on establishing the link between individual and group disadvantage when bringing a claim for indirect age discrimination. Under the Equality Act 2010, indirect age discrimination occurs when: a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) is applied to people of all ages, but the PCP disadvantages people of one age (or in a particular age group) more when compared with persons of a different age or age group the PCP causes an individual…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered whether a claimant suffering from paranoid delusions had a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. Section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 outlines that a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial long-term adverse effect on their ability to conduct day-to-day activities. Schedule 1 of the Act takes a closer look at what constitutes ‘long term’, outlining an impairment can be classed as…

Equality

The Court of Appeal has ruled that, when considering a ‘material factor’ defence within an equal pay claim, organisations need to explain pay disparity, not justify it. Under the Equality Act 2010, men and women have the right to receive equal pay for equal work. Work is considered to be of ‘equal value’ where the value of a woman's work is equal to that of a man in terms of the demands made on her, for example, under such headings as effort, skill and decision-making. In effect the remit and…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that the tribunal did not err by finding a claimant had not demonstrated clear evidence that her ‘mixed personality’ disorder had a substantial adverse effect on her day-to-day activities. Under section 6 of the Equality Act 2010, a person is deemed to have a disability if they have an impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. If this can be established, an employee…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that an employment tribunal (ET) was right to rely on medical evidence from a GP when it was contradicted by the claimant in a discrimination claim. Under the Equality Act 2010, a person, (A), discriminates against a disabled person (B), if A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B’s disability and cannot show this treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. For example, if an organisation…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that a tribunal proceeded on a false basis by not requiring the disclosure of documents relating to the refusal of an employment opportunity due to potentially racist reasons. Under the Equality Act 2010, organisations are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their race and religion. This includes denying them opportunity for promotion or new roles. During employment tribunal proceedings, a preliminary hearing may be held…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that a tribunal had erred by finding an organisation had harassed an employee despite also finding its officers had not been motivated by discrimination. Under the Equality Act 2010, direct discrimination occurs where a person is treated, or would be treated, less favourably ‘because of’ a protected characteristic compared with others in like-for-like circumstances. If the claimant establishes a case which at first sight indicates that…

Equality

The Supreme Court has ruled that Barclays were not liable for sexual assault committed by a GP on employees after the bank contracted him to conduct medical checks. Organisations can be liable for acts committed by their employees if it is found that their actions are sufficiently connected to their employment. However, this doctrine of vicarious liability has also extended beyond employment into other employment relationships, including those between an organisation and an independent…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that two officers suffered discrimination after a compensation payment, provided as part of a voluntary exit scheme, was capped due to their receiving deferred pensions. The Equality Act 2010 outlines that it is unlawful to treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something arising from, or in consequence of, this disability. It is, however, possible to justify such treatment if it can be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a…

Equality

The Court of Appeal has upheld earlier decisions that a provision criterion or practice (PCP) can be established by one-off acts committed by an organisation, but not always. Under sections 20 and 21 of the Equality Act 2010, organisations have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to assist disabled employees where a PCP places them at a substantial disadvantage. If reasonable adjustments are not made, the organisation could be liable for a claim of disability discrimination. There is…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that, when bringing a claim of disability discrimination, a claimant must show that their condition has a ‘long-term effect’ at the time of the alleged acts of discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against an individual, directly or indirectly, due to their having a disability. The Act also prohibits victimisation, which is where an individual is subjected to a detriment as a direct result of bringing a complaint…

Equality

The employment tribunal (ET) has found that the BBC failed to demonstrate its actions in paying two presenters substantially different salaries was not related to their gender. Under the Equality Act 2010, male and female employees must receive equal pay for equal work. The work does not have to be related to the same role; it can be work which is the same or broadly similar and any differences are not of practical importance in relation to employment terms and conditions. This is known as ‘…

Equality

The employment tribunal has ruled that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief and, therefore, should be granted legal protections under the Equality Act 2010. Under the Equality Act 2010, employees are able to bring claims if they are subjected to forms of discrimination because of a ‘philosophical belief’.  In the case of Grainger v Nicolson, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) provided guidance on what could constitute as a ‘philosophical belief’. Amongst other criteria, they outlined…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that individuals who have been dismissed, but then later reinstated, can still claim that their dismissal amounted to a detriment under the Equality Act 2010. Under the Equality Act, an individual is victimised when they are subjected to a detriment because they have done, or it is believed they have done, a ‘protected act’. For example, if an individual brings a complaint that they have been discriminated against as a result of their disability…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled a claim of direct sex discrimination, brought after an organisation failed to pay the claimant an additional London allowance whilst she was on maternity leave, did not require the establishment of a comparator to succeed. Under section 13 of the Equality Act 2010, when bringing a claim of direct discrimination, a claimant will need to demonstrate that they were treated less favourably as a result of a protected characteristic than a real or…

Equality

The Court of Appeal has upheld earlier decisions that an employee’s belief in the right to own the copyright of ‘her own creative works and output’ did not amount to a philosophical belief. Under the Equality Act 2010, employees are able to bring tribunal claims if they are subjected to forms of discrimination because of a ‘philosophical belief’.  In the case of Grainger v Nicolson, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) provided guidance on what could constitute as a ‘philosophical belief’.…

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Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that, when evaluating if an impairment should be classed as ‘long-term’, and therefore a disability, organisations should determine the likelihood of it recurring at the time of the potentially discriminatory act. The Equality Act 2010 protects all employees from discrimination on the grounds of a disability. For the purposes of the legislation, an employee will be disabled if they have a mental or physical impairment and that impairment has a…

Judgement published:
Equality

The employment tribunal (ET) has held that a doctor’s ‘conscientious objection’ to refer to transgender patients in their chosen gender was ‘incompatible with human dignity’. Under the Equality Act 2010, employees are able to bring claims if they are subjected to forms of discrimination because of a ‘philosophical belief’.  In the case of Grainger v Nicolson, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) provided guidance on what could constitute as a ‘philosophical belief’. Amongst other criteria,…

Judgement published:
Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that whilst the act of massaging an employee’s shoulders amounted to unwanted conduct, it was not harassment. Under section 26 of the Equality Act 2010, sexual harassment occurs when an individual, A, engages in unwanted conduct with a person, B, that is of a sexual nature or related to their gender and has the purpose or effect of violating B’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. When…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that, when determining injury to feelings compensation in discrimination cases, it is not only one-off acts that fall into the lower band.  In the case Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, guidelines were given on how an employment tribunal (ET) should determine the amount of money to be awarded for injury to feelings in successful discrimination claims. As a result, the Court of Appeal in Vento set out three bands to be used when…

Judgement published:
Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that organisations can potentially avoid liability for acts of discrimination committed by employees if it is clearly established that the act complained of took place outside of work. Under section 109 of the Equality Act 2010, organisations are liable for acts of discrimination and harassment committed by employees ‘in the course of employment’ and it does not matter whether that act is done with the organisation’s knowledge or approval. In…

Judgement published:
Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has found that direct discrimination claims resting on the discriminator’s protected characteristic will not succeed at tribunals.   Direct religion or belief discrimination takes place where an employer treats an employee less favourably than they would treat others because of their religion or belief (or lack of). Indirect discrimination occurs when an organisation applies a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) that places a person with a protected…

Equality

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that organisations should focus on the particular disadvantage suffered by an employee when making reasonable adjustments. Facts In this case, an employee suffered from ulcerative colitis, a condition which could manifest itself in a sudden, unpredictable need for a bowel movement and could be aggravated by stress. In 2012, an occupational health (OH) report stated that the employee would benefit from a dedicated parking space in order to avoid…