The EAT has allowed an appeal in part against a decision of the Tribunal in D Muzi-Mabaso -v- Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs 2015, which concerned making reasonable adjustments to an online test for a disabled applicant.

Mr Muzi-Mabaso had been employed with HMRC since 2004. In 2011, he failed to pass a course and reverted to a lower ‘grade’, at which there were substantially fewer jobs. He was then absent from work due to ill-health for some months, and was placed within a redeployment pool shortly before his return to work. Mr Muzi-Mabaso was disabled and suffered from depression, and identified what he referred to as a phobia of the job application process. This presented difficulties with regard to an online test that was part of the recruitment process at HMRC. The Claimant was ultimately unsuccessful in obtaining a new position and brought claims for indirect discrimination and failure to make reasonable adjustments, under the Equality Act 2010.

The Employment Tribunal rejected his claims, but his appeal was allowed in part. Although it was accepted that the Claimant would not have taken the test in any form, and that an adjustment would not have assisted with this, the Tribunal had not engaged with the question of whether it would have been a reasonable adjustment for HMRC to waive the requirement to take the test entirely. Furthermore, when considering the indirect discrimination claim, the Tribunal had not properly considered the discriminatory impact of requiring all applicants to undertake an online test, and had therefore failed to properly conduct the balancing exercise.