Department of Work and Pensions v Boyers (Disability Discrimination): EAT 24 Jun 2020

The Claimant, who was disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010, was dismissed by the Respondent whilst on sickness absence. An Employment Tribunal found that the Claimant had been unfairly dismissed, contrary to the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The Tribunal also upheld the Claimant’s claim that her dismissal constituted disability discrimination, contrary to section 15 of the Equality Act. The Respondent appealed against the finding that the dismissal of the Claimant was unlawful discrimination, on the basis that the Employment Tribunal had erred in law in rejecting the Respondent’s justification defence.
The Employment Tribunal had accepted that the dismissal pursued two legitimate aims but held that it was not justified because it was not a proportionate means of achieving either aim. The Respondent contended that in considering the issue of justification the Tribunal had erred in law by focusing on criticism of the Respondent’s decision-making process rather than conducting a balancing exercise between the needs of the employer, as represented by the legitimate aims the Tribunal had accepted were being pursued, and the discriminatory effect on the employee.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the Respondent’s appeal and remitted the claim under section 15 of the Equality Act to the same Employment Tribunal for redetermination.


[2020] UKEAT 0282 – 19 – 2406




England and Wales

Employment, Discrimination

Updated: 20 December 2022; Ref: scu.652140