Employment Cases Update

City of Oxford Bus Services Ltd (t/a Oxford Bus Company) v Harvey UKEAT/0171/18/JOJ

Date published: 19/03/2019

Appeal against the ET’s decision upholding the Claimant’s complaint of indirect discrimination on the ground of religion and belief. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant, a practising Seventh Day Adventist which prevented him from working between sunset on a Friday and sunset on a Saturday, worked as a bus driver for the Respondent. He contended that the Respondent operated a provision, criterion or practice ("PCP") requiring all bus drivers to work shifts on any 5 days out of 7 days each week, which the Respondent accepted, but it also pointed out that drivers were permitted to swap shifts with others. The Claimant brought various claims before the ET, which dismissed the complaints of direct discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of religion and belief, but it upheld his complaint of indirect discrimination on that ground. The Respondent appealed against the ET's decision on the indirect discrimination complaint, arguing that the ET incorrectly applied the test for justification, failed to give adequate weight to the Respondent's judgement, and wrongly recorded the evidence.

The EAT held that the ET had focused on the impact of the application of the PCP to the Claimant rather than the question of whether it was justified as a rule in more general terms. The case would, if possible, be remitted to the same ET.

Employment Claims without a Lawyer 2nd edition published March 2018

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