Reynolds v CLFIS (UK) Ltd and Others: EAT 21 May 2014

EAT Age Discrimination – The Claimant had worked for the Respondent for many years as a specialist in medical insurance. From 2006 she had a consultancy agreement with the Respondent. In 2010 it was decided to terminate that agreement. The Claimant contended that that decision was unlawful because it was taken on the ground of age. The Respondent denied that. The Employment Tribunal found that the Claimant had done enough on the evidence to shift the burden of proof to the Respondent to show that it had not discriminated against her. The Tribunal focussed entirely on the mental processes of the person who took the decision to terminate the agreement and no one else. The Claimant submitted on appeal that that was a misdirection of law, in particular having regard to the fact that the burden of proof was on the Respondent.
Held, allowing the appeal:
It was common ground that the decision to terminate the agreement had been shaped and informed by the views of other persons, in particular in a presentation given to the eventual decision-maker. In those circumstances, in particular having regard to the fact that the claim was brought against the Respondent organisation and not the individual decision-maker, and having regard to the fact that the burden of proof had shifted to the Respondent, the Employment Tribunal misdirected itself in law. It should also have considered the mental processes of those other persons who had influenced the decision to terminate in a significant way. The case would be remitted to a differently constituted tribunal to reconsider in accordance with the judgment of the appeal tribunal.

Singh J
[2014] UKEAT 0484 – 13 – 2105
England and Wales

Employment, Discrimination

Updated: 04 December 2021; Ref: scu.526094