Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

In the case of The Government Legal Service v Brookes UKEAT/0302/16/RN the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) held that the Tribunal had not erred that forcing a person with Aspergers to sit a multiple choice test constituted disability discrimination.

The factual background of The Government Legal Service v Brookes

Ms Brookes, who has Asperger’s syndrome, applied to the Government Legal Service in 2015 for the role of trainee solicitor. Recruitment to the Government Legal Service involves at the first stage undertaking the multiple choice ‘Situational Judgment Test’ (“SJT”), and then further tests and interviews.

The Government Legal Service published the recruitment timetable in May 2015 and in June 2015 Ms Brookes informed the recruitment team that she had Asperger’s syndrome, requesting that reasonable adjustments be made for her disability. On 30 June 2015 she was told that an alternative test format to that of multiple choice was not available but that other adjustments would be made (such as giving her more time to complete the test).

On 1 July 2015 the recruitment opened. Ms Brookes contacted the Government Legal Service on 28 and 29 July 2015 to complain of the discriminatory impact of the SJT. She took part in the SJT and submitted her answers on 30 July 2015. She was informed on 4 August 2015 that she had not passed the SJT (scoring 12 points when the pass mark was 14).

Ms Brookes subsequently made a claim in the Employment Tribunal against the Government Legal Service for indirect discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments, and discrimination arising from disability.

The Employment Tribunal’s decision

The Employment Tribunal found in Ms Brookes’ favour in respect of her claims for indirect discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments, and discrimination arising from disability. In particular, the Tribunal held that there were more proportionate means available to the Government Legal Service than simply imposing the SJT on all applicants.

The Government Legal Service appealed against the Tribunal’s decision on the following grounds:

  1. That the requirement that Ms Brookes take the SJT did not in fact place her at a particular disadvantage as compared to persons who did not share her disability; and
  2. That the Tribunal had erred in finding that the use of the SJT by the Government Legal Service was not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim

The decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal

The EAT rejected both grounds of appeal by the Government Legal Service, holding that the Tribunal had appropriately applied the law and relevant evidence in coming to its conclusions.

Our lawyers’ comment

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “This case shows that businesses should be very careful when formulating recruitment tests and, in particular, must carefully consider any requests from disabled persons for adjustments to any recruitment tests that they use – a failure to deal reasonably with such a request could lead to a potential discrimination claim.”

The decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of Government Legal Service v Brookes can be found here.

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

    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

    4.78 Average

    262 Reviews

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 2 days ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 3 days ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 4 days ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 5 days ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 6 days ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 6 days ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 1 week ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I found dealing with Redmans a pleasure. I got to speak to someone quickly, the advice was profferred promplty and the service was not 'pushy'. In addition, the administration was excellent. What more could you ask for?

    Posted 1 week ago

    ALISDAIR L

    Redmans did a brilliant job regarding my redundancy agreement. I miss read an extra charge which wasnt the case so doing a new review to clarify. I would recommend Redmans for any employment law issues you may have.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Christos G

    Great legal advice and quick correspondence. Very supportive and helpful through the entire process. Thank you Redmans!

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Chris Hadrill advised me on a redundancy settlement agreement. He was very responsive, easy to deal with and gave me good advice at a stressful time.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Zara M

    Rana at Redmans gave me support and confidence I needed to ensure a wrong, was put right. I couldn’t recommend enough.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Stuart T

    Chris provided an excellent service, he was efficient and friendly and I had no doubt when recommending him to my colleagues

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service, prompt responses. Chris Hadrill provided excellent and efficient service.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Jane M

    Wonderful solicitors who really listen to you and who are there to offer expert legal advice but they also have a personal touch and you really feel supported both from a legal aspect but also from a personal aspect. They really listen .

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    They dealt with my case professional and swiftly. The advise was helpful and enabled me to make the right decisions in my case.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    I have received a great legal advice from Redmans on a very short notice. I’d highly recommend them.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Michael D

    Excellent, efficient advice - the whole matter was concluded with minimum fuss and an excellent outcome.

    Posted 2 weeks ago