When employing a past member of staff, employers need to document decisions carefully to avoid claims.

A recent case, Das v Ayrshire and Arran Health Board, shows the problems an employer may face where a former employee, with whom there have been issues in the past, applies for a new job.

Victimisation occurs where an employee is subjected to detrimental treatment by an employer because of carrying out a ‘protected act’ (or because the employer believes the employee has carried out, or may carry out a protected act). One of the protected acts is bringing discrimination proceedings under the Equality Act 2010.

The following recent case highlights the issues involved.

Das was employed as a specialist doctor by a health board between 2000 and 2009. It was a rocky employment relationship. Among other things, Das made a protected disclosure (blew the whistle), raised a race discrimination grievance and was unsuccessful in his application for promotion. In 2009, he resigned. He decided to train as a GP but withdrew from this training shortly after starting. He then worked for a number of hospitals in the region over a three year period.

In April 2010 he applied for the role of specialist doctor with the board. The recruitment panel did not shortlist him initially but a member of the HR team recognised his name and discussed the situation with her superior. They decided to invite him to an interview. He was unsuccessful and brought a tribunal claim which was settled by judicial mediation.

To read more about the tribunal findings visit the CIPD website.

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