Case details

Home Office (Respondent) v Essop and others (Appellants)

Case ID: UKSC 2015/0161

Case summary


Whether, in order to successfully bring a claim for indirect discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, a claimant needs to show the reason why a provision, criterion or practice puts or would put (a) the claimant; and (b) persons with whom the claimant shares a protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage.


The appellants are employed by the Home Office. Mr Essop, the lead claimant, started his employment in 1995 and his current role is that of an Immigration Officer. The Home Office applies to all staff a requirement to sit and pass a Core Skills Assessment ("CSA") in order to become eligible for promotion.

The appellants all failed the CSA and so were ineligible for promotion within the Home Office. A statistical report commissioned by the Home Office found that candidates from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and candidates over 35 were disproportionately likely to fail the CSA.

The appellants brought claims against the Home Office for indirect discrimination on the basis of their protected characteristics of race as black and minority ethnic and/or of age.

The Employment Tribunal directed that the question of whether, in order to succeed on their claim, the appellants needed to show why the CSA put each of them, and the group with whom they shared a protected characteristic, at a disadvantage be considered separately at a Pre-Hearing Review before the Employment Tribunal. The Employment Tribunal found in favour of the Respondents on the issue; on appeal, the President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal found in favour of the appellants; on a further appeal, the Court of Appeal found in favour of the respondents.

Judgment appealed

[2015] EWCA Civ 609



Shaffic Essop and others


Home Office



Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge

Hearing start date

14 Nov 2016

Hearing finish date

15 Nov 2016

Watch hearing
14 Nov 2016 Morning session Afternoon session
15 Nov 2016 Morning session Afternoon session