Home » Website updates July to August 2021

Website updates July to August 2021

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Last updated 21st August 2021.

Participants needed for study about experience of witnesses who stammer in court

A forensic linguistics student at Cardiff University is looking for adults who stammer and have been witnesses in court, and also Registered Intermediaries, to participate in a study. See Participants needed for study about experience of witnesses who stammer in court.

Face masks/coverings and stammering

Face masks/coverings and stammering updated to reflect the abolition of face covering regulations in England. However some businesses and organisations – for example hospitals and Transport for London (TfL) – still require customers or patients etc to wear a face covering. Also some employers require staff to wear one. What rights do you have if this causes you difficulties communicating?

Apple stammering emoji

Many users of iPhones and iPads found that a ‘woozy face’ emoji automatically appeared when typing the word ‘stammering’ into messages. Stamma announced on 23rd July that Apple had issued an update of its operating system to stop this. See Apple stammering emoji.

New guide for universities on stammering

STAMMA and STUC have produced a new guide Supporting students who stammer in higher education. It should be invaluable for universities looking to create an inclusive environment for students who stammer. See New guide for universities on stammering.

Disabled Students’ Allowance

New page Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). Some university students may wish to claim DSA to fund additional costs or support related to a stammer.

Ad hoc adjustment duty on service providers?

The reasonable adjustment on service providers and some others (not employers) is “anticipatory”. They are required to think in advance about what people with different kinds of disabilities might require, rather than waiting for a particular disabled person to present themself. But is there also a duty on service providers etc to make ad hoc adjustments in response to the particular needs of a disabled individual? Common sense would say yes there is, as does the Code of Practice and guidance. See Ad hoc adjustment duty on service providers?

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

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

On shifting burden of proof, the court said that as in employment cases, once the claimant has given some indication as to what adjustments the claimant alleges should have been made, it is for the public authority etc to show the adjustment is not reasonable.

Employer requiring medical evidence for reasonable adjustment?

If you tell the employer about your stammer, can the employer require medical or other evidence before making a reasonable adjustment? Page reviewed and updated: Employer requiring medical evidence for reasonable adjustment?

Video on Early Conciliation

Video in which barrister Daniel Barnett talks to ACAS conciliators about what happens in Early Conciliation, and how to make the most of it – added on ‘Early Conciliation’ – all claims to go first to ACAS.

Compensation for unintentional indirect discrimination

There is a special rule about considering remedies other than compensation first in a claim for indirect discrimination, if the tribunal or court is satisfied that the provision, criterion or practice (PCP) was not applied with the intention of discriminating against the claimant. Does this restrict the right to compensation? Not really it seems, according to the Court of Appeal decision in Wisbey v The Commissioner of the City of London Police and College of Policing. The court said this rule is “by no means a hurdle or barrier to awarding compensation”. See Indirect discrimination>Compensation.

Resolving issues at university or FE college

Resolving issues at university or FE college reviewed and updated.

Sexual harassment in the workplace: government response

In July 2021 the government issued its Consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace: government response (gov.uk). The government says it will “look closely” at extending the time limit for all types of Equality Act employment claims from three to six months. There is also a proposal to re-introduce some sort of protection for third-party harassment, though perhaps only for sexual harassment, and discussion of how far the Equality Act applies to volunteers and interns. See Proposed changes>Sexual harassment: government response, 2021.

PCP in reasonable adjustment claim

Identifying the appropriate provision, criterion or practice (PCP) in a reasonable adjustment claim can be difficult, for lawyers as well as litigants in person. In Martin v Swansea the Employment Appeal Tribunal said something about the flexibility tribunals should offer, particularly when dealing with litigants in person: see Reasonable adjustment rules: employment>What is a “provision, criterion or practice” (PCP)?

Interim relief

Interim relief in Equality Act dismissal claims – continuing the employment of someone who has been dismissed pending a final tribunal decision – is not available. In June 2021 the Court of Appeal in Steer v Stormsure rejected an argument that under the European Convention on Human Rights an employment tribunal should be allowed to grant interim relief.

Proving discrimination

I’ve updated the Proving discrimination page generally, but particularly as regards:

  • the Supreme Court’s decision in Efobi v Royal Mail Group (23rd July 2021) which reasserts that the Equality Act did not change the rules on shift of burden of proof to the employer. There is still an initial burden of proof on the claimant.

Services: Connection with Great Britain

Connection with Great Britain: services updated, particularly the section on online services (“information society services”).

Examples of jobs

On Examples of jobs done by people who stammer:

CRPD post-Brexit technical note

Technical note added on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) post-Brexit – about SI 2009/1181 which designates the CRPD as one of the “Community Treaties”: Technical note: Post-Brexit relevance of CRPD as an EU treaty?

20th anniversary of stammeringlaw, 1999-2019