News - Brangwyn v South Warwickshire NHS Trust

Employment & Discrimination - Sarah Keogh

Did a requirement in a job description amount to a PCP?

Sarah Keogh was instructed by the Bar Pro Bono Unit to represent Mr Brangwyn in his permission hearing in the Court of Appeal.

Mr Brangwyn, a carpenter who had been providing occupational therapy to patients at the Royal Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital, has a severe phobia of blood and needles which amounted to a disability under the Equality Act 2010. He was provided with a new job description which stated he was required to attend wards for meetings, and to collect patients. After attending two such meetings on the ward he went off sick. On raising a grievance he was assured that he would not have to go into areas of the ward where there were patients with open wounds. However, a revised job description still required him to attend the ward, as did multiple versions produced thereafter. His anxiety that these requirements were still included in his job description prevented him from returning to work.

His appeal to the Court of Appeal focusses on whether the Employment Tribunal erred in law in rejecting the job description as containing a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) requiring him to attend the ward, and whether its finding that the Respondent had not failed to make reasonable adjustments was perverse. Permission to appeal on these grounds was granted by Lady Justice Gloster.

The decision has received media interest:

https://www.itv.com/news/central/2017-10-24/man-with-phobia-of-blood-sues-nhs-for-140-000/

https://www.metro.news/nhs-worker-can-sue-over-blood-phobia/793873/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5013757/Hospital-worker-sacked-blood-fear-sues-NHS-140k.html

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4752499/sacked-hospital-worker-fear-blood-needles-sues-nhs/

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/870706/NHS-blood-phobia-needles-hospital-worker-sues-Andrew-Brangwyn

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