Judd v Cabinet Office EA-2020-000468-AT

Appeal against the rejection of the Claimant’s claims for disability discrimination arising out of the withdrawal of a secondment opportunity in Montenegro on grounds of risk to her health. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant had successfully applied for a secondment opportunity in Montenegro with the Respondent. But the secondment opportunity was withdrawn following advice given to the Respondent that the Claimant would be at “High Risk” if seconded to Montenegro, as a result of her health. It was common ground before the ET that the Claimant had a disability; and that the withdrawal of the secondment opportunity was unfavourable treatment of her because of something arising in consequence of her disability. It was also common ground that the Respondent’s treatment of the Claimant pursued the legitimate aim of protecting the health, safety and well-being of its secondees when working abroad. The issue under s15 was therefore restricted to whether the withdrawal of the secondment opportunity was a proportionate step in the circumstances. The resolution of this question turned on whether the Respondent was required to adopt the course of permitting the Claimant to take up the secondment, but with mitigations and protections in place to safeguard her health, safety and well-being whilst in Montenegro. The ET ruled that given the high risk classification, it was not a reasonable adjustment to allow the claimant to go to Montenegro and that withdrawing the secondment offer was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim at that time. The Claimant appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. The grounds of appeal, which sought to argue that the ET had misdirected itself, or had failed to consider certain reasonable adjustments relied upon by the Claimant, or other factors relevant to the proportionality analysis, raised unfounded criticisms which were all insufficient to undermine the ET’s essential reasoning.


Published: 16/12/2021 14:10

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