An NHS Trust discriminated against an employee with cancer who was required to undergo a competitive interview process in a redeployment exercise, a tribunal was held.
Mr Waddingham, who had worked for the NHS in various roles since 1984, was informed in 2012 that his role was at risk of redundancy. During the redeployment exercise, employees needed to score 75 per cent or more to be considered for the new role. Shortly after Waddingham started treatment for throat cancer in early 2013, he applied for a vacant position at the Trust for which he had relevant experience. At the interview, he only scored 54 per cent, so was not appointed, and his employment was ended in March 2013.
He brought an employment tribunal claim for disability discrimination, claiming that he was unfavourably treated because of something that had arisen in consequence of his disability, contrary to the Equality Act 2010, and that the Trust had failed to make reasonable judgements.
He argued that he had been fatigued on a “cocktail of drugs”, and this had affected his concentration. The tribunal found that Waddingham was treated unfavourably because of his condition, and that requiring the claimant to undertake a competitive interview and to meet a required standard was not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. It suggested it might have been more reasonable to assess him for the role without a competitive interview, using evidence from his long service.