Gibbons v Chinambu & Nationwide Building Society [2023] EAT 50

Appeal in unfair dismissal claim touching on whether the dismissal was in connection with the claimant's disability.

The claimant had worked at a bank branch for 20 years and it was accepted that at the time of dismissal she had two disabilities, which the claimant said meant she could work in another branch. Amid a breakdown of relationships with colleagues within the branch, a move to another branch was considered but after a grievance hearing and appeal, the claimant was dismissed. She started proceedings in the ET claiming her dismissal was for reason of her disability under s15 and harassment under s25 of the EA 2010.

The ET allowed the unfair dismissal claim, but the claimant appealed, arguing the tribunal erred in concluding that the claimant was not dismissed because of something arising in consequence of disability and had erred on the harassment claim in similar fashion. HHJ Auerbach allows the appeals as the tribunal had erred by only considering the principal reason when adjudicating the Equality Act complaints, failing to recognise that the “because of” test (section 15) and the “related to” test (section 26) are both wider than the principal reason test that applies in relation to unfair dismissal.

Published: 30/05/2023 14:48

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