The Claimant applied for a position with NHS England in July 2013 and a reference was requested from Coventry City Council but a negative reference was provided which referred to her sickness absences. NHS England withdrew the job offer.
The Claimant brought a claim for discrimination arising from disability under s.15 of the Equality Act 2010. However, her claim failed as she had not established a prima facie case of discrimination sufficient to shift the burden of proof to her employer.
She appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The Tribunal had applied an impermissibly high hurdle in requiring her to prove that the only inference that could be drawn was a discriminatory one. The Tribunal’s reasoning was unsupported by the evidence and contrary to the evidence and the findings. Her claim succeeded on the basis that the negative reference referred to her sickness absences which were related to her disability.
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