Mike Hibbs comments on the Supreme Court ruling in Essop v Home Office
Commenting on today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Essop V Home Office case, Mike Hibbs, head of employment, said:
“Indirect discrimination is a complex, but ever increasing issue among employers and this case is testament to that.
“It is irrelevant that the Home Office may not have deliberately set out to disadvantage this group of people, but the fact that they have been disadvantaged is the real issue. Regardless of whether some BME employees and those aged over 35 were able to pass the CSA test, it is the disadvantage caused to the majority which is being put under the spotlight.
“Introducing blanket tests to all employees in order to seek a promotion or a financial raise is a risky business for employers and could open them up to cases of largescale discrimination. If an employer is going to use tests to determine promotions, they must think very carefully about why they are doing it.
“If the management team don’t know whether people are ready for a promotion without them taking a test, then it is likely that there is something seriously wrong with the business structure. A disconnect between senior level decision makers and the rest of the team is not healthy. Potentially cutting corners in this way could and probably has back-fired in this case.
“The nature of the disadvantage in question is likely to be heavily scrutinised in future. An influx of statistical reports and more attempts to raise an indirect discrimination claim can be expected if individuals feel they have fallen victim to indirect discrimination.”