Disability discrimination

Reasonable adjustments: no duty to top up part-time earnings during phased return to work

When assessing a duty to make reasonable adjustments, a tribunal must be sure that the claimant has been placed at a substantial disadvantage due to their disability and not by some other external factor such as their personal financial circumstances. Where a disabled employee could not afford to return to work part time, the employer had not failed in its duty to make reasonable adjustments by not topping up her part-time earnings.
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Bagley
 

Reasonable adjustments: how much should cost be an issue?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office did not breach its duty to make reasonable adjustments for a deaf senior diplomat when it withdrew an offer to post her to Kazakhstan because of the extremely high costs of making such adjustments.
Cordell v Foreign & Commonwealth Office
 

To what degree must an adjustment remove a disadvantage for it to be reasonable?

Must there be a good or real prospect of an adjustment removing a disabled employee’s disadvantage for it to be considered as ‘reasonable’? Not necessarily says the EAT. If there’s a ‘real prospect’ that’ll be enough to make the adjustment a reasonable one - but an adjustment may be reasonable even if there’s a lower chance.
Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust v Foster
 

Unreasonable reasonable adjustments

A useful reminder from the EAT that the reasonable adjustment duty is limited to substantive adjustments rather than procedural steps such as consultations and trial periods as these don't, in themselves, alleviate the disadvantage that a provision criterion or practice causes a disabled employee.
Salford NHS Primary Care Trust v Smith
 

Ill-health retirement was not a reasonable adjustment

Reasonable adjustments involve steps to enable an employee to stay in employment, not to compensate him for leaving it. Offering ill-health retirement did not therefore fall within the scope of ‘reasonable adjustments’.
Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v Mylott
 

Failure to extend sick pay was not a failure to make a reasonable adjustment

An employer’s failure to extend the time that sick pay was paid to a disabled employee under its sickness absence policy was not a failure to make a reasonable adjustment.
Royal Bank of Scotland v Ashton
 


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