Chester 01244 405555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

Shrewsbury 01743 443 043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Airport City, Manchester 0844 800 8346

Office 129
Manchester Business Park
3000 Aviator Way
Manchester M22 5TG

Send us a message
Our Offices

Recruitment: Disability Discrimination and Adjustments for Candidates

16th May, 2017

Was a job applicant who suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome indirectly discriminated against by being required to sit a multiple choice “Situational Judgement Test” (SJT) as part of a recruitment process?

The EAT in The Government Legal Service v Brookes [2017] UKEAT/0302/16 concluded that she was.

The Applicant had applied for a job at Government Legal Service (GLS) and was informed that she would be required to take part in the SJT as part of the recruitment process. The Applicant requested that she be allowed to answer the questions in the form of short narrative written answers.

GLS refused arguing that the Applicant could not show that the form of testing method put those with Asperger’s, or the Applicant herself, at a particular disadvantage and further to this, the requirement was objectively justified as a proportionate means to achieving a legitimate aim.

The Applicant failed the test and claimed disability discrimination.

The ET found that GLS had indirectly discriminated, failed to comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments, and had treated her unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of her disability.

It concluded that the provision, criterion or practice (PCP) to require candidates to undergo the SJT put people such as the Applicant, as a group, at a disadvantage compared with those who did not have Asperger’s. Further to this the ET found that the PCP put the Applicant at such a disadvantage. The ET went on to consider whether the PCP could be objectively justified to serve a legitimate aim. It concluded that whilst the PCP served a legitimate aim, to ensure recruitment of persons of the right calibre, the means of achieving that aim were not proportionate and such a test was not the only option available to GLS. The claim relating to failure to make reasonable adjustments succeeded on similar reasoning and the claim for discrimination because of something arising in consequence of a disability, the ET found, would be either successful or unsuccessful with the indirect discrimination claim. Accordingly, it was successful.

GLS appealed, however, the EAT agreed with the ET’s decision and its reasoning.

Comment

This recent EAT decision demonstrates the importance of assessing your recruitment processes on a case by case basis. It also illustrates that if an applicant has a disability and asks for an adjustment to your business’ recruitment process which is reasonable then you should consider it and if needed take advice on proceeding.  Should you need guidance regarding your recruitment practices and whether a request for an adjustment to your recruitment process is reasonable, please contact our Employment Department.

Ben Mason

Associate

Employment Law
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01743 294129

You might also be interested in...

Sustainable Palm Oil Project

7th March, 2019

  What’s Good About Palm Oil? Up to 50% of products in an average UK supermarket now contain... Read More »

Compensation for Employees Made Redundant Due to Administration

1st March, 2019

Our solicitors have a proven track record of recovering compensation for clients where their employer is in administration... Read More »

Handling Adverse Weather in the Workplace

29th January, 2019

With Heavy weather promised for the next few days, here is a reminder of the importance to have... Read More »

Contact Us