Martin v The Board of Governors of St Francis Xavier 6th Form College [2024] EAT 22

Appeal against the Claimant’s claims of direct race discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant is black British of Jamaican heritage and was a teacher with the Respondent. He was subjected to a disciplinary investigation and then attended a disciplinary hearing. The allegation against him was that he had been late on a number of occasions. The investigation had commenced after an incident on 26 May 2017 when he had arrived late on a day when a group of his students were taking public examinations. There was a disciplinary hearing on 8 September 2017 and the Claimant resigned that day before any decision was announced. The Claimant claimed that he been constructively unfairly dismissed and complained of race discrimination. Before the Tribunal, the Claimant contended that he had been unlawfully discriminated against on the ground of his race by being subjected to a detriment, contrary to sections 13 and 39(2)(d) of the Equality Act 2010. The less favourable treatment was being investigated on 7 June 2017 and then being subjected to a disciplinary process, culminating in a disciplinary hearing on 8 September 2017, further to the events of 26 May 2017. The Claimant alleged that he was subjected to a detriment during the disciplinary process. The ET rejected his claims and the Claimant appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. The EAT considered the law relating to comparators in discrimination cases, including actual statutory comparators, evidential comparators, and hypothetical comparators. They also considered the interrelationship between the use of comparators and the shifting burden of proof in section 136 of the Equality Act 2010. The EAT held that the majority of the ET in this case did not misdirect itself in law, did not reach a perverse decision, and gave adequate reasons for its conclusions.

Published: 21/03/2024 14:30

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