Trial periods and reasonable adjustments

Where a disability places an employee at the substantial disadvantage that they cannot continue in their present job, and are at risk of imminent dismissal, there is no rule of law that it cannot be a reasonable adjustment to give them a trial period in a new role.

Menopause and disability

An employer treated an employee unfavourably because of something arising from her disability of menopause and failed to make reasonable adjustments.

Reasonable adjustments: scope of duty to enquire

An employer’s failure fully to enquire into a dyspraxic job applicant’s needs when he was applying online led to a finding of disability discrimination for failure to make reasonable adjustments.

Discrimination: perception of harassment

Only unwanted conduct of which a claimant is aware can be taken into account in a claim for harassment.

Philosophical belief discrimination and transgender issues

‘Gender-critical’ beliefs, including a belief that biological sex is real, important, immutable and not to be conflated with gender identity, are protected under the Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Religion or belief: manifestation of and assessing proportionality

Employers cannot discipline an employee for manifesting a protected belief because someone else may be offended - unless they have also considered whether the action is both necessary and proportionate.

Discriminatory dismissals: identifying decision maker

A decision to dismiss based on tainted information given by a line manager to the dismissing manager could not make the dismissal discriminatory unless the dismissing manager was motivated by the relevant protected characteristic (here pregnancy).

Dismissal, disability and long-term sickness

A disabled employee’s dismissal was not discrimination arising from a disability because it was a proportionate means of achieving the employer’s legitimate aim of maintaining good staff attendance.

Marital status discrimination

A director who was dismissed while divorcing her husband, a director at the same company, was not subjected to marital discrimination.

PCP: disability and non-compliance

It was not a reasonable adjustment simply to slot a disabled employee into a new structure as part of a redundancy exercise.

Discrimination and 'gender critical' philosophical belief

A barristers’ chambers discriminated against a barrister due to her protected belief that a woman is defined by her sex (a ‘gender critical’ belief).

Philosophical belief: employee's refusal to use preferred pronouns in the workplace

An employee’s belief that a person cannot change their sex/gender at will, and his lack of belief in ‘transgenderism’, were protected under the Equality Act 2010. However, a tribunal had correctly held that his employer’s response to his refusal to use transgender service users’ preferred pronouns was not direct or indirect discrimination or harassment.

Justifying discrimination arising from disability

A failure to give a disabled employee a reasonable trial in a role at a different location meant that the employer could not show that her dismissal was objectively justified.

COVID-19: long COVID and disability

An employee with long COVID symptoms was ‘disabled’ for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010.

Reasonable adjustments and fairness of dismissal

A failure to make reasonable adjustments as part of a dismissal process doesn’t mean that the dismissal itself is necessarily unfair.

Menopause and harassment

An employer’s derogatory and inappropriate remarks about a female employee’s age, in particular that she might be menopausal or be experiencing stereotypical menopausal symptoms, amounted to harassment on the grounds of sex and age.

COVID-19: philosophical belief

An employee’s fear of catching COVID-19 did not amount to a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act.

Associative indirect discrimination: returning to work full time

An employee who cared for her disabled mother was indirectly discriminated against on the grounds of disability, despite not having a disability herself.

Reasonable adjustments and pay protection

It was not a reasonable adjustment to continue to pay an employee their previous higher rate of pay after being moved to a lower-paid role because of their disability.

Discrimination and the burden of proof

The burden of proof remains on a claimant in a discrimination case to prove, on the balance of probabilities, facts from which (absent any other explanation) a tribunal could infer that an unlawful act of discrimination had taken place. The change in wording to the balance of proof provisions in the Equality Act 2010 did not introduce a substantive change to the law.

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