An employer may impose a PCP on employees that it genuinely regards as applying fairly to all, but it may in practice turn out to disadvantage some who share a protected characteristic. It may also be difficult to identify precisely why it has this effect. In a direct discrimination claim the claimant must prove that the respondent’s discriminatory treatment of him was on the grounds of his protected characteristic. In indirect discrimination claims, there is also a “reason why” question. It does not go to the employer’s motive or intention, whether conscious or unconscious. For the purposes of the Equality Act 2010, s 19, it is necessary for the claimant to show why the PCP has disadvantaged both the group and the individual claimant.
Karon Monaghan QC was involved in this case.