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Midwife loses appeal over having to give evidence on day one instead of day two of trial

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Buckle v Ashford And St Peter’s Hospital NHS Trust, Ms Buckle is a midwife. She was engaged by an employment agency. There was an incident with a patient and Ms Buckle alleged that she was subject to abuse and that she was forced to continue working in the room with the patient.

She brought a number of claims based on the protected characteristic of race, alleging that her treatment involved direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. The claimant contended that she had suffered personal injury by reason of her treatment, with an eventual diagnosis of PTSD, resulting in her experiencing difficulty in sleeping, frequently being tearful and finding it difficult to remember things.

Buckle argued that because of serious mental health issues she had required the first day to acclimatise to the Tribunal environment and that when her reasonable expectation of being granted that adjustment was denied it derailed her, causing her to be disbelieved, and depriving her of a fair trial.

The EAT held that the Tribunal should not be held to have erred in failing to take into account the severity of the Claimant’s conditions when she was professionally legally represented and no detailed submissions had been advanced in support of why the adjustment was required.

The EAT dismissed the appeal.

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