Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

hmctsA Chess Master who claims that he was turned down for a job at a British secret intelligence agency because of his “loyalty to God” has lost his claim for discrimination.

Charlie Storey, a chess Grand Master, applied to the British secret intelligence agency GCHQ for a post as an Information Assurance and Network Defence Specialist in July 2008, a post which required he highest level of security clearance. After his application he underwent a rigorous interview process. He was successful in his initial interview in 2008 and was informed that his application was ready to progress to the next stage. He was also informed, however, that a “firm offer” of appointment would be subject to enquiries by GCHQ into his health, security, and administrative matters.

As part of the enquiries into his background his GP sent GCHQ a record of his past medical history and treatment, which stated that Mr Storey had suffered from drug-induced psychosis in 1991, with further episodes of anxiety and paranoia in 2001 and 2003. Mr Storey’s GP also noted, however, that the incident of psychosis was of no relevance to the application as it occurred over 17 years ago. However, despite this a consultant forensic psychologist instructed by GCHQ stated that he had concerns about Mr Storey’s health which may render Mr Storey unfit to work for the organisation. Mr Storey was informed by GCHQ that the consultant psychologist had assessed him as an unsuitable candidate but that GCHQ was prepared to reconsider his rejection if he was willing to undergo further enquiries into his health and security matters. Mr Storey therefore chose to do so.

Mr Storey was medically assessed by GCHQ’s Occupational Health department in June 2009 as medically fit for the post but a further report by the consultant psychologist in June 2009 raised concerns about Mr Storey’s “integrity and reliability”. Mr Storey also underwent a vetting interview with a Vetting Officer, who recommended that security clearance should be refused to Mr Storey as a result of his “personal circumstances”.

After the rejection of his application Mr Storey submitted a claim to the Employment Tribunal in March 2010 for direct disability discrimination, disability-related discrimination, and direct religious belief discrimination.

The claim came to the Employment Tribunal in May 2013, with Mr Storey claiming that he had been refused the job because he had stated during the interview process that he was a “devout” Christian and that he owed “loyalty to God over his country”, and because of his previous medical history.

The Employment Tribunal rejected Mr Storey’s claims, holding that discrimination (disability-related, religious belief-related or otherwise) was not the reason for the rejection of his application. In particular, the Employment Tribunal stated that Mr Storey had not been subject to adverse treatment because of his religious beliefs and that any other applicant holding strong political, ethical or non-religious beliefs and would put those beliefs before their work would also have had their applications rejected.

Mr Storey appealed the Employment Tribunal’s decision but his appeal was unsuccessful (see Storey v Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) UKEAT 0629_14_2210).

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “One of the interesting facets of Mr Storey’s case is that he made his claim to the Employment Tribunal just before the new law relating to discrimination was introduced by the Equality Act 2010; had the incidents in question occurred on or after 1 October 2015 then he would probably have had a greater chance of succeeding with his disability-related discrimination claim (now known as discrimination arising from disability under the Equality Act).”

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.62 Average

53 Reviews

Anonymous

Both Rana and Chris were fantastic. From the first phone call I was confident my matter was in good hands. I was not disappointed. I would highly recommend Redmans. Thank you again for all of your support and advice.

Posted 3 days ago

Federico S

Great advices and communication. Through Redmana I obtained match more than what I thought. Highly recommended

Posted 5 days ago

Tom G

A good and efficient service with the required legal advice provided for a settlement agreement.

Posted 5 days ago

Francis T

The solicitor I used was Chris Hadrill, who I found extremely professional and I felt that he made me feel at ease, considering the subject matter he was assisting me with.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Chris provided excellent assistance with the negotiation of my settlement agreement. From start to finish, I was consitently updated and advised on the best course of action to take. I would highly recommend Chris and Redmans Solicitors.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

They are busy people but manage well so generally I would recommend them.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Very efficient and professional service from my first phone call making an enquiry. Timescales of the matter in hand were met and within the agreed budget. Would highly recommend Redmans

Posted 3 weeks ago

Lisa B

Really very good service, always available to answer questions, provide my with any information I needed to make informed decisions.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Offered good support and advice

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Chris reviewed and managed my compromise agreement swiftly, accurately, helpfully, and on budget. His input on key non-compete clauses was valuable, his communications were clear and concise, and he was always swift in responding. Highly recommended.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Gurbir C

Excellent legal advice service.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Tim

I found Redmans to be very helpful and efficient in conducting my case which was concluded in a timely and diligent manner

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

I found Redman Solicitors to be very good and worked very well to an extremely tight timescale. I would happily recommend them again especially Rana.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

I received excellent, knowledgeable and critically timely support from Chris regarding my settlement agreement, and would wholeheartedly recommend Chris in these matters.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Katelyn

The solicitor communicated well with me and made sure I understood everything. He did everything needed for my settlement agreement and tried to get the wording changed in my favour too.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Redmans provided excellent services

Posted 4 weeks ago

Sibel U

Excellent service

Posted 4 weeks ago

Peter S

I was very happy with the level of advise I received from Caroline Lewis, and a very professional service fron Chris, The advice given really helped me and I was comfortable to sign the settlement agreement following my redundancy. I would be more than happy to recommend your services to others.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Derek S

I very much appreciated the help provided by Redmans in the settlement agreement agreed with my former employer.

Posted 1 month ago

Waseem M

It was the first ime I used Redmans Solicitors and to be honest, thety were amazing. Rana Tandon and Chris Hadrill were out of this world. They made the process as simply and smooth as can be. Thank you so much for all your support over the last week.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Worked very quickly considering right deadlines - and gave great advice

Posted 1 month ago