Employment Cases Update

Lawson v Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd UKEAT/0192/19/VP

Date published: 21/05/2020

Appeal against the ET’s judgment that the Claimant was not a disabled person on the relevant dates. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant, who worked as a pilot for the Respondent, was "stood down" from flying after an incident on an international flight. He suffered from stress and anxiety as a result of the incident. As part of the continuous assessment for pilots, he undertook simulations tests and, after he had failed two of these, he was dismissed on the ground of capability. The Claimant brought proceedings in the ET for unfair dismissal and for disability discrimination under sections 15 (unfavourable treatment) and 21 (failure to make reasonable adjustments) of the Equality Act 2010 ("EqA 2010"), contending that he was, at the material times, a disabled person within the meaning of section 6 EqA 2010 by reason of a mental impairment. At a preliminary hearing, the ET determined that the Claimant was not a disabled person on the relevant dates. The Claimant appealed on grounds including that the ET erred in law in failing to consider whether his condition was to be treated as continuing due to the operation of paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 1 EqA 2010, and that the ET erred in law in applying a test which incorporated the issue of the Respondent's knowledge, which was not relevant to the issue of whether or not the Claimant was a disabled person.

The EAT held that the first of these grounds failed but the second ground succeeded. Accordingly, the second matter would be remitted to the same ET to consider whether, having regard to paragraph 2(1)(b) of Schedule 1 EqA 2010, the Claimant was a disabled person as at the date of his dismissal.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.