Scott v Kenton Schools Academy Trust UKEAT/0031/19/DA

Appeal against the ET’s decision dismissing the Claimant’s claims of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant was dismissed by the Respondent for alleged professional malpractice. He presented his claim to the ET, with complaints including disability discrimination and unfair dismissal. The ET found that the Claimant was a disabled person at the relevant time, but that he failed to establish that his dismissal was because of something which arose in consequence of his disability; as to the unfair dismissal claim, the ET found that the Respondent's decision to dismiss the Claimant was within the band of reasonable responses available. The Claimant appealed on grounds including that the ET had erred (1) in misapplying the test of causation in section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 ("EqA 2010"), (2) in failing to carry out the necessary balancing exercise when considering the issue of proportionality under section 15 EqA 2010, (3) in concluding that the Respondent, in dismissing the Claimant, had not failed to make a reasonable adjustment under section 20 EqA 2010, and (4) in failing to have regard to the fact that the Claimant's conduct arose in consequence of his disability, and that dismissal was disproportionate, when considering whether the Respondent's reason for dismissal was a sufficient reason for dismissing the Claimant.

The EAT held that the ET erred (1) by not applying the correct approach to the threshold causation test of something arising in consequence of the Claimant's disability, and by applying too stringent a test in that regard, (2) by not taking the correct approach to the proportionality test in accordance with the authorities, and (3) by making an unsafe decision on the reasonable adjustment claim; however, the ET made no error of law in holding that the Claimant was not unfairly dismissed. Accordingly, the claims under sections 15 and 20 EqA 2010 would be remitted to a fresh ET.

Published: 12/02/2020 09:22

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