Employment Cases Update

Jayaram v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd UKEAT/0164/19/LA

Date published: 03/08/2020

Appeal against the ET’s decision rejecting the Claimant’s claim of direct race discrimination. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant applied unsuccessfully for a job with the Respondent and brought proceedings for direct race discrimination. In his amended ET1, he indicated that he was disabled by virtue of depression, PTSD and ADHD, and that further details of reasonable adjustments for hearings would be advised at a later stage, but they never were. Immediately before the hearing, the Claimant, who was representing himself, was advised by the court clerk that he would be permitted to take notes while he was being cross-examined; however, the ET observed that this process was slowing the proceedings considerably and asked the Claimant's wife to assist him, before ultimately rejecting his claim of direct race discrimination. The Claimant appealed on grounds including that the ET had erred in failing to provide him with a fair trial by changing its approach to his note-taking, which made him feel pressured and affected his ability to participate as a disabled person.

The EAT held that a fair procedure was followed in this case, and that the note-taking process had been agreed on the basis of the Claimant being unrepresented rather than by his suffering a disability; further, there was objectively no difference in the manner of the Claimant giving evidence before or after the change in note-taking.

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