Legal News

The Court of Appeal has applied EU law to hold that a student could make an employment tribunal claim for discrimination by a work placement provider, even though her university had arranged the work placement.

The claimant was undertaking a Diploma of Higher Education in Mental Health Nursing, and claimed indirect sex discrimination against a placement provider. The provider had withdrawn the placement because owing to childcare responsibilities she was unable to comply with shift patterns requiring her to work late or night shifts.

Technical provisions in the Equality Act seemed to bar her from claiming in this situation where the university had power to afford access to the work placement.

However in Blackwood v Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, the Court of Appeal held that EU law required she have a claim for discrimination. The court reworded the EqA to allow her an employment tribunal claim against the provider.

More: EqA: Employees and others covered by the employment provisions >Work experience, including university placements.