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 first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    320 Reviews

    Anonymous

    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 2 days ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 5 days ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 1 month ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 2 months ago

    ""

    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 2 months ago

    William A

    Second time I have had to use Redmans. They did not disappoint. They are fast , efficient and friendly. I have already recommended them to friends and colleagues. I hope I dont have to use them again but if I have to , they are the solicitors for me.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Fleeta C

    Great service with tantastic communications. The solicitor responsible is extremely knowledgeable and was responsible for bringing a timely and desired solution.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Veronica M

    Extremely helpful, starting from a request for advice at very short notice, to dedicating time for me to understand and review all documents thoroughly.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sophie R

    Very efficient and professional service. Chris was very empathetic, knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended.

    Posted 2 months ago