Claire McCann looks at what X v Mid Sussex CAB tells us about volunteer rights in the workplace.


First published in ELA briefing

X v Mid Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau & Chalis:

Is a volunteer worker afforded protection from acts of disability discrimination, whether under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (and, therefore, by extension the Equality Act 2010) or by recourse to the Framework Directive? The Court of Appeal has decided not, in agreement with both the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Employment Tribunal. X has sought permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.


X was a volunteer advisor at a Citizens Advice Bureau (“CAB”). She was not paid and provided her services under a volunteer agreement which was described as being “binding in honour only…and not a contract of employment or legally binding”. She undertook a nine month training period and, thereafter, carried out a wide range of advice work duties. X arranged to attend the CAB on certain days. She frequently did not attend on the days she was expected but no objection was ever taken to this or to her altering her working days. X was asked to cease to attend as a volunteer and she claims that the reason is connected to her disability.

Download the full article here: cm-ela-article—x-v-mid-sussex-cab-feb-2011-1.pdf