The EAT held it will normally be a question of whether individual steps under the procedure are justified, rather than the procedure as a whole.
A police officer had been off work for 8 months and the police instigated the ‘Unsatisfactory Performance Procedure’, derived from police regulations.
In Buchanan v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis www.bailii.org, the employment tribunal rejected a claim that various steps under the procedure constituted discrimination arising from the disability contrary to s.15 EqA, because the tribunal considered the scheme as a whole was justified.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal held the tribunal had taken the wrong approach. As regards each procedural step complained of which the tribunal considered to be unfavourable treatment within s.15, the tribunal should consider whether whether the step was justified, in other words a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.