R (Rowley) v Minister for the Cabinet Office: BSL interpreters

The High Court held that the UK government had failed to make a reasonable adjustment by not providing British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for two televised Coronavirus data briefings. However for ongoing Coronavirus briefings – given the use of detailed data slides – the court held that “in-screen” BSL interpretation was enough to satisfy the … Read more

R (VC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

This appeal concerned reasonable adjustments for those with mental illnesses detained under the Immigration Act. The Court of Appeal held that the Secretary of State had failed to make reasonable adjustments, such as arranging advocates to assist mentally ill detainees in making representations about decisions to detain them. The court said that as in employment … Read more

M v Ban-Car Hotel

The tribunal found the claimant was disabled within the Equality Act, by reason of her stammer and depression. However it held there was no discrimination, so her claim failed overall. 2021, Employment Tribunal. Full decision (pdf, gov.uk). (There are also earlier decisions (gov.uk) on applications to strike out the claim.) Facts The claimant was employed … Read more

Elliot v Dorset County Council

The EAT stressed that in assessing whether the effect of an impairment is “substantial” under the Equality Act, the tribunal should start from the statutory wording of whether the effect is more than “minor or trivial”. The Guidance and Code of Practice do not add extra requirements; they should not be read as statutes, and … Read more

O v TC Facilities Management

The claimant’s employment was terminated without notice due to his alleged “verbal and threatening behaviour towards management” at a meeting. Part of the problem was him speaking loudly and quickly at the meeting – he had a stammer which caused him to do this when trying to communicate under stress. The employment tribunal rejected his … Read more

VL v Szpital Klinicnzy

The employer offered a monthly allowance to people who submitted a disability certificate after a certain date to encourage more people to do so, but not to those who had submitted one before that date. The EU Court held that less favourable treatment of some disabled people compared to other disabled people could be direct … Read more

Uber v Aslam: self-employed workers

The Supreme Court held that Uber drivers (in London) were “workers” and therefore entitled to the national minimum wage, paid holiday and whistleblowing protection. The court downgraded the importance of written documents (controlled by the ’employer’) in deciding whether someone is a worker, and emphasised that employers cannot ‘contract out’ of employment rights. 2021, Supreme … Read more

Y v West Yorkshire Combined Authority

A claimant who stammers argued that the employer should have made further adjustments to an interview and presentation, for example expressly telling him he had extra time, follow-up questions where his answers were unduly short, and arrangements to enable him to keep eye contact. The tribunal held that on the facts the adjustments which had … Read more

Heskett v Secretary of State for Justice

The Court of Appeal upheld the “cost plus” principle, in the sense that saving or avoidance of costs will not without more amount to a ‘legitimate aim’ in seeking to justify discrimination. However this does not prevent an employer from relying on a legitimate aim of needing to reduce its expenditure, specifically staff costs, in … Read more

Stammering case with impact statement, 2020

Below are an impact statement and other documents used in an employment tribunal case in 2020, arguing that the stammer (a severe one) was a disability within the Equality Act. Documents The documents were not professionally drafted and aren’t presented as recommended documents. However they illustrate that even with a severe stammer such as this … Read more