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The Court of Appeal has confirmed that, in cases involving direct discrimination in the workplace, it is the motive of the decision-maker that is important and not those who may have influenced the decision. Imogen Noons explains the importance of this for employers.
Dr Reynolds was employed by Canada Life from 1968 until 1992. During this period, she worked as chief medical officer.
When her employment ended in 1992, Dr Reynolds entered into a consultancy agreement with Canada Life for her to continue to work as a chief medical officer.
Canada Life became concerned about Dr Reynolds' performance. Among other things, Dr Reynolds would not attend Canada Life's Bristol office and therefore any face-to-face conversations with her had to be carried out at her home in Wales.
Dr Reynolds did not use email and dictated that any hard copy documents must be sent to her home by fax or post, not recorded delivery. This was so that she did not have to leave her home to collect the documents if they were delivered while she was out.
In February 2010, the general manager of Canada Life was given a presentation by the managing director of Canada Life's Bristol division that highlighted issues with Dr Reynolds' performance.
Canada Life's director of claims management also had input into the presentation