Disability discrimination

Restricting access to benefits for sick staff may be disability discrimination

A policy of cutting off e-mail and intranet access to an employee on long-term sick leave which led to a failure to ensure the employee was kept informed of changes to his terms and conditions was a discriminatory failure to make reasonable adjustments.
Chawla v Hewlett Packard Ltd

Type 2 diabetes and disability

Diet-controlled Type 2 diabetes does not automatically qualify as a disability. The employee’s condition, which was controlled by abstaining from sugary drinks, did not have a substantial adverse effect on his ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
Metroline Travel Ltd v Stoute

Constructive knowledge of disability: reasonable, not perfect, effort required

While an employer hadn’t explored every conceivable avenue, it had done enough to avoid a finding that it had constructive knowledge of an employee’s disability and thus be liable for having to make reasonable adjustments.
Donelien v Liberata UK Ltd

Non-payment of bonus due to warning for disability absences

A bonus scheme that automatically excluded those who had received a formal warning for sickness absence discriminated against disabled employees.
Land Registry v Houghton

Depression and disability

While someone suffering from depression may be disabled under the statutory definition, it’s not inevitably the case that this will be so.
Saad v Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust

Obesity and disability discrimination

Whilst there’s no general stand-alone principle of European law prohibiting, in itself, discrimination on grounds of obesity (as there is with issues such sex or race), there are conditions under which obesity can amount to a disability. It will only do so, however, where the usual criteria for establishing a disability are satisfied, including being such that the obesity hinders the full and effective participation of the person concerned in professional life on an equal basis with other workers.
Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund

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