Lucas v Cosmeceuticals Ltd [2022] EAT 141

Appeal against the dismissal of the Claimant's claims of disability discrimination. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant was employed by the Respondent between 13 March and 23 August 2017. Throughout that period the Respondent was aware that she had multiple sclerosis. Following her dismissal, she presented claims to the ET under sections 15, 21, 26 and 27 of the Equality Act, 2010 (“EA”). Following a 6-day evidential hearing, all of the claims were dismissed. The ET rejected the Claimant’s pleaded position about the reasons for her dismissal and recorded inter alia that the true reason for the dismissal was poor sales performance. It further noted that there was “no evidence” of any link between the Claimant’s disability and the sales performance. She appealed only against the dismissal of the section 15 and 21 claims contending that (a) in relation to the section 15 claim, the ET’s reasons were not Meek compliant and / or it had mis-applied the burden of proof provisions of section 136 EA; and (b) in relation to the section 21 claim, the ET had misconstrued PCPs 1 and 2, mis-applied the burden of proof, misunderstood the pleaded disadvantage of “financial loss”, erred in in carrying out a comparative exercise with non-disabled persons in its assessment of substantial disadvantage, and produced defective reasons in relation to PCP4 by failing to consider the particular adjustment contended for by the Claimant.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. Where there is “no evidence” on any material issue (including causation) it is neither necessary nor appropriate for an ET to consider the burden of proof provisions of section 136 EA in relation to that issue. The ET’s reasons for dismissing the section 15 claim were clearly expressed, needed no further explanation, were Meek complaint, and disclosed no error of law. The ET had not erred in any of the respects suggested in relation to the section 21 claim.

Published: 12/10/2022 09:42

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