A judge is to decide if Police Scotland treated an applicant unfairly after she disclosed she was taking antidepressants and her job offer was withdrawn.

Laura Mackenzie, from Inverness, was being treated for post-natal depression and applicants are required to have been clear of the medication for two years.

She is taking Police Scotland to an employment tribunal, claiming she is the victim of disability discrimination.

Ms Mackenzie claims she was told by an occupational health nurse that she believed the policy was "outdated".  She was described as an "outstanding" candidate by the force.

The Herald: Laura Mackenzie

An appeal by Police Scotland was thrown out at the first stage of the judicial process.

A date has now been set for a three-day hearing starting on August 14.

An estimated one in four people are affected by anxiety or depression - the most common reason for antidepressant use.

Policy varies across forces but the UK Government says there is no automatic ban on appointments if applicants are taking the drugs.


Police Scotland sued over 'outdated' antidepressant rule 

'Like many folk, I take antidepressants - that's why we would make good cops'

Jay Lawson, who is representing Ms Mackenzie said: "The Tribunal hearing  will forensically analyse the treatment of applicants with underlying health conditions which are arguing is discriminatory on many levels.”

The Metropolitan Police say candidates will be individually assessed but it is recommended that they have been well "without medication" for at least six months before applying.

Essex police says there is no blanket ban and applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Police Scotland said the ban does not apply to officers who are already in the job.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said being on medication was not a barrier to employment.