The Government Legal Service v Brookes UKEAT/0302/16/RN - Case Study Example

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Harvey Mudd College
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Case study
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In this case, an employer required that all individuals who were interested in a job opportunity should fill an online psychometric test. The online psychometric test is a type of situational judgment test, and it is used by some employers as part of a recruitment exercise. Given that a situational judgment test involves multiple choices, it is effective and efficient because it enables a person to objectively right or wrong when it comes to the questions being answered. The other advantage of a situational judgment test is that marking the responses can be done by a computer without any intervention of human beings. In the hiring process, the claimant had to sit for a multiple choice situational judgment test as the first step in a competitive recruitment process for lawyers who wished to join the respondent. The respondent, in this case, was a Government Legal Service.

The claimant, in this case, suffered from Aspergers syndrome and had asked if she could provide her answers in a short form, narrative-based because of her medical condition. The employer refused the request from the prospective employee and went to the extent of stating that there was no availability of an alternative test format. The claimant went ahead to file a suit case claiming that the employer treated her with discrimination and failed to make adjustments in the job application process. She went ahead to argue that multiple choice method of testing was disadvantageous to her and that it would have been better if the respondent had granted her permission of allowing her to answer the questions in the situational judgment test in a format that involves responses that are done in a short narrative form.

A ruling was made that affirmed that requiring a potential employee who is suffering from Aspergers syndrome to fill an online psychometric test which is of multiple choices in nature is a direct contravention of anti-discriminatory laws with regard to hiring. It was also ruled that by exposing the job applicant to the conventional test placed the claimant at a disadvantage due to his medical condition. The Employment Appeal Tribunal further ruled that the employer is liable for discriminating the job applicant on the grounds of disability. It was further ruled that the employer should have made reasonable adjustments that would have ensured that the claimant is offered an opportunity that would have ensured that he is given an alternative job application test.

In conclusion, it was established that even though the employer had a legitimate objective when it came to operating the test, the means which the employer used in achieving the objectives was discriminatory and not proportionate. The claimant was treated unfavorably on an issue that she had no control on. The case is a good example of the issue of discrimination in hiring. It was established that the respondent treated the claimant with discrimination by failing to comply with reasonable adjustments that would have ensured that the claimant received fair treatment when it came to the recruitment process. The Employment Appeal Tribunal ordered the respondent to make compensation to the claimant for treating her with discrimination in the hiring process. The respondent was also ordered to make an official apology to the claimant. Lastly, the respondent was asked to review its hiring procedures with regard to people with disabilities with a view to ensuring that the psychometric testing regime is made more flexible.



The Government Legal Service v Brookes UKEAT/0302/16/RN


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