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The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary –v- Eckland

Tuesday 23rd – Wednesday 24th November 2021

This is an appeal by the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary against the order made by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (Kerr J)  allowing in part but dismissing the remainder of his appeal from the Employment Tribunal’s decision as to the correct identity of the respondent to the Claimant’s disability discrimination claim.

PTA granted by the EAT.

The Claimant, a police officer, was alleged to have lied to a Crown Court; a disciplinary investigation was undertaken in accordance with a statutory regime involving the Chief Constable, the Independent Office for Police Conduct and the police misconduct tribunal (the panel).

The panel, appointed by the Chief Constable, found the case proved and decided that the C should be dismissed with immediate effect for gross misconduct.

The C, asserting that he was disabled by depression and anxiety, brought a disability discrimination claim against the Chief Constable only.

The ET held as a preliminary issue that the Chief Constable alone was the correct respondent to the claim.

The Chief Constable appealed on the grounds that (1) the ET erred in deciding that he could be held liable for discriminatory acts of the IOPC’s director general, (2) the ET erred in deciding that he could be held liable for discriminatory action by the panel and (3) the ET failed to give him a fair trial and determination of those issues.

The EAT held that ground (1) succeeded, ground (2) failed and ground (3) succeeded since the ET had erred in merely adopting one side’s case and rejecting the other side’s.

Lower Court Judgment:

Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary v Eckland (DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION –-Discrimination by other bodies) [2021] UKEAT 0123_20_1802 (18 February 2021) (bailii.org)

View hearing:

Part 1

Part 2