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Reasonable Adjustments Still Applicable at Interview

Reasonable Adjustments Still Applicable at Interview

An employment appeal tribunal has concluded that a trainee solicitor with Asperger’s was unfairly disadvantaged after she was required to complete a multiple- choice psychometric test as part of the recruitment process.

She made a request to write out her answers in order to justify and apply reason to them, but this request was refused. She took the test and scored 12 out of a possible 24 - the pass rate is 14 so she failed.

Unhappy about this rigid way of recruiting, she took the employers to tribunal due to the indirect discrimination she faced based on her disability.

Typical traits of Asperger’s can include difficulties with social interaction, understanding and processing language and feelings of anxiety.

The tribunal considered that she graduated from University with a law degree and the reason she did not pass the online test was because it wasn't presented in a format suitable for someone with Asperger’s. It concluded the test put her at a direct disadvantage and that the firm could and should have made it accessible for her. They failed to make the reasonable adjustments they are duty bound to supply.

Head of the Lawson-West Employment department, Vaishali Thakerar, comments: “Whilst indirect disability discrimination is quite rare, this case demonstrates the importance of all employers doing what they can to provide reasonable adjustments to their employees. The key word is reasonable- you will not be forced to make changes if they are impossible. Contact myself or a member of my team on 0116 212 1000 / 01858 445 480 to find out what is reasonable.”

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