Gould v Trustees of St John's Downshire Hill UKEAT/0115/17/DA
Appeal against a decision that the Claimant's claims of unlawful direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of marriage should be struck out as having no reasonable prospects of success without hearing any evidence. Appeal allowed.
The Claimant was a minister and married. When he experienced difficulties in his marriage, it was suggested that the Claimant take a sabbatical during which time he could focus on sorting out his marital problems. The Claimant did not want to do this but reluctantly agreed; eventually though he was dismissed. The Claimant's case on direct discrimination was put in his claim form under the heading "Discrimination on the ground of marriage". The ET dismissed his claim on the basis that this case did not engage the protected characteristic in section 8 of marriage. The Claimant appealed.
The EAT allowed the appeal. On a reasonable reading of the Claimant's pleaded case, the facts gave rise to an arguable case that it was his married status and his marital difficulties as a married man that led to his dismissal. That composite reason was, on his case, the reason for the Respondent's treatment of him and that case should have been permitted to proceed.
Published: 05/12/2017 10:35