Rochford v WNS Global Services


Our final case is another update on a case we have covered before. The case has since been heard in the Court of Appeal who upheld the ET and EAT’s decisions.

In short, the Claimant was off work due to sickness and was disabled for the purpose of the Equality Act. The Respondent started a phased return to work but did not explain this to the Claimant who saw it as a demotion.

The Claimant refused to carry out any work and was dismissed for insubordination. The Claimant brought discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.

The ET and EAT held that not explaining the phased return could be discrimination but the insubordination meant the Claimant was dismissed for a fair reason as he still had a duty to perform part of his role.

The Court of appeal have since added that the refusal to work was a breach of contract and not discriminatory. Instead of refusing to work the employee could resign or begin ET proceedings whilst still working.