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No jurisdiction to hear work placement claim
In Blackwood v Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust the EAT has upheld an Employment Tribunal decision that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the claim of indirect sex discrimination brought by a university student whose work placement with a NHS Trust had been withdrawn because she could not comply with the required shift patterns due to having a young child.
The Equality Act, in section 56(5) has an exclusion which makes it clear that if a university can provide access to vocational training, complaints of discrimination which were associated with that training do not fall within the employment provisions of the Act but instead under the education provisions; in which case the County Court has jurisdiction. Here, it was clear that the university was able to provide students with placements and it did not matter that the training was provided by the trust, nor that the trust apparently had the ability to terminate a placement.
This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.
For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.
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