Job applicant with stammer not discriminated against by being required to attend an oral interview

15 March 2024

In Glasson v Insolvency Service, the EAT held that an employment tribunal was entitled to find that an employer did not discriminate against the claimant under the Equality Act 2010 by conducting oral interviews (for an internal promotion) in its recruitment exercise. The tribunal below had correctly rejected a claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments because, although the employer knew that the claimant had a stammer and therefore needed extra time to answer questions at the interview, it was unaware that he also gave shorter (and, hence, lower-scoring) answers as a way of avoiding his stammer.

If the employer knows of the disability but does not know of the particular disadvantage caused by the disability, it does not fall under an obligation to make adjustments to eliminate the disadvantage.

In the present case, the employer had no actual or constructive knowledge of this particular effect of the claimant’s disability and the tribunal was entitled to consider the wider context, including the fact that the claimant had attended a previous interview process and had not raised concerns.

On a separate s.15 claim (‘discrimination arising’), the tribunal was also entitled to find that, although the claimant was treated unfavourably because of something arising from his disability, the requirement of oral interviews was a proportionate means of achieving the legitimate aim of having a fair and proportionate recruitment process.



Daniel Hobbs

Call 1998


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and event updates.



19 December 2023

A message from Head of Chambers, Jason Beer KC, looking back at the past 12…

Discover more

21 November 2023

Robert Cohen appeared in the Court of Appeal for the Home Office

Discover more

14 February 2022

The first hearings of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry commenced today.  Previously a non-statutory…

Discover more

Portfolio Builder

Select the practice areas that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)