David Flood in Supreme Court case

April 28, 2021

David Flood has recently appeared in the Supreme Court case of Efobi (Apellant) -v- Royal Mail Group (Respondent). The key issue is, in a claim for discrimination, whether the Claimant bears the burden of proving that discrimination has occurred or whether the burden is neutral under Section 136 of The Equality Act 2010.

The appellant, Mr Efobi, is a black Nigerian and a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. He has graduate and postgraduate qualifications in information systems. From August 2013, he was employed by the respondent, Royal Mail Group Ltd, where he worked as a postman in the operational department but wanted to be employed in the management/IT service area. He applied for many posts in these areas but was unsuccessful each time. Mr Efobi brought proceedings in the Employment Tribunal for harassment, victimisation, and direct and indirect race discrimination in relation to his failure to obtain 22 of these posts.

The Employment Tribunal rejected his claims of discrimination, but his harassment and victimisation claims succeeded in part. Mr Efobi successfully appealed the Employment Tribunal’s discrimination findings in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The EAT concluded that the ET had erred in its approach to the burden of proof. Royal Mail Group then successfully appealed the EAT’s decision to the Court of Appeal. Mr Efobi appealed to the Supreme Court, and the hearing was held on 27 April in front of Justices Lord Hodge, Lord Briggs, Lady Arden, Lord Hamblen and Lord Leggart.

David Flood was instructed by Steve Peacock of Weightmans and led by David Reade QC.

Judgment is expected in the Summer.