Case update(1): Disability discrimination – careful what you perceive

Summary:  Can an employer discriminate directly because of a perceived disability? Yes, says the EAT in Chief Constable of Norfolk v Coffey, available here. Facts: Lisa Coffey was a police constable. Although she had some hearing loss which was marginally outside the range set for recruitment, she had passed a practical functionality test and was…
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Case update (1): Human rights and monitoring at work

What do we already know? We updated you in our January 2016 Newsletter Human rights and monitoring at work on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision in Bărbulescu v Romania that an employee’s right to respect for private and family life was not breached if their employer monitored their personal communications at work…
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Case update (1): Disability discrimination – unfavourable advantageous treatment

Summary:  Was a disabled employee treated unfavourably (and therefore discriminated against) when his enhanced pension on ill-health retirement was based on the salary he earned when working part time due to his disability, rather than his full time salary? No, says the Court of Appeal in Williams v The Trustees of Swansea University Pension &…
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Case Update (2): Disability discrimination and redundancy

Summary:  If an employee’s long term sickness absence shows lack of need for the role and the employer make that role redundant, does this amount to disability discrimination? No, says the EAT in Charlesworth –v- Dransfields Engineering Services Ltd available here.   Facts:  Mr Charlesworth, the employee, managed one of four branches of the employer’s…
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Case update (3): Disability discrimination – reasonable adjustments

autism awareness
Summary:  Is it disability discrimination to make a job applicant with Asperger’s syndrome sit a situational judgment test (multiple choice test) as part of the recruitment process? Yes, says the EAT in the Government Legal Service v Brookes, available here. Facts:  Ms Brookes has Asperger’s syndrome and applied to join the Government Legal Service (‘GLS’)…
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Case update (3): Disability discrimination – harassment

case updates - small person sitting on large briefcase
Summary:  Can an employee successfully claim harassment by simply asserting he or she has a disability without establishing that they are disabled under the Equality Act 2010? No, says the EAT in Peninsula Business Service Ltd v Baker available here. Facts:  The employee, Mr Baker, had been employed by Peninsula Business Services Ltd (PBS), the…
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Case update (3): Disability discrimination – Type 2 diabetes

Summary:  Can type 2 diabetes be a disability? Yes, says the EAT in Taylor v Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Ltd available here. Background:  Under the Equality Act 2010, a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to…
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New guidance (3): Access to Work – Eligibility letter published

The Government has published the Access to Work eligibility letter for employees and employers, available here. The letter is intended to assist employees who consider that they might be entitled to support under the scheme. The Access to Work scheme provides support and reasonable adjustments for disabled workers in the workplace. Under the scheme disabled…
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Blog: Stretching reasonable adjustments too far?

Anne-Marie Boyle, Specialist Employment Lawyer at Menzies Law
The duty on an employer to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee is a familiar one to HR advisors.  But it is an area of discrimination law where the boundaries get stretched further and further, year after year. In recent years we have seen Employment Tribunals take the view that certain steps are required…
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Case update (1): Disability discrimination – pay protection

Summary: Is it a reasonable adjustment to protect a disabled employee’s pay? Yes, in certain circumstances, says the EAT in G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd v Powell available here. Facts:  The employee, Mr Powell, worked for G4S Cash Solutions as an engineer. After a back injury prevented him from doing heavy lifting he was moved…
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