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Disability discrimination: Governing body, not LEA, liable for teacher's DDA claim

This report relates to 1 case(s)

  • expand disabled

    Murphy v Slough Borough Council and another [2005] IRLR 382 CA (0 other reports)

Key points

In Murphy v Slough Borough Council and another, the Court of Appeal holds:

  • The governing body of a community school with a delegated budget, not the local education authority (LEA), was the proper respondent to a complaint of disability discrimination brought by a teacher at the school, notwithstanding that the complainant's contract of employment was with the LEA. The liability of the governing body existed because the complaint related to the exercise by that body of its "employment powers".
  • Statutory provisions implicitly gave the governing body power to grant leave to a teacher for reasons relating to physical and mental health, and to grant maternity leave. In this case the employee, who had a heart condition that meant she could not become pregnant, complained about the refusal of her request for paid maternity leave after the birth of her child by a surrogate mother.
  • Further, the employment tribunal had been entitled to find that the governing body had been justified in deciding to refuse paid leave in the light of the school's budget deficit.