Court of Appeal cautions employers against blindly accepting an occupational health opinion that employee is not disabled

The Court of Appeal decision in Gallop v Newport City Council highlights the pitfalls of relying blindly on the opinion or report of an occupational health (OH) adviser that an employee is not disabled or not covered by disability discrimination legislation. In this case, the employee had been signed off work with work-related stress. The employer’s OH adviser reported to the employer that he was indeed suffering from stress but that it did not amount to depression or a depressive illness. The employee went on to bring a disability discrimination claim including a claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments. His employer argued that, in view of the OH advice, it could not have had actual or constructive knowledge that he was disabled and therefore the duty to make reasonable adjustments was not engaged…

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