Take care when recruiting

June 2017

By Lucy Bloom of Osborne & Wise

The Government Legal Services (“GLS”) v Brookes emphasises the importance of employers fully considering a job applicant’s request for a reasonable adjustment. In this case, Ms Brookes had Asperger’s syndrome. She was informed that she would need to complete a multiple choice test. Due to her medical condition, Ms Brookes asked whether the format of the test could be amended; GLS refused this request. Ms Brookes did not pass the test and subsequently issued a number of disability discrimination claims. The EAT found that a reasonable adjustment could have been made to change the format of the test.

Interestingly, this case demonstrates that the use of psychometric tests, which are often chosen to avoid human bias, do not necessarily prevent the issue of discrimination arising. Employers may be expected to adjust the format of a test or the method of testing, if it might place a job candidate at a particular disadvantage.