Dealing with disabled employees — recent trends

By Antonia Blackwell

Recent decisions of the Employment Appeal Tribunal have highlighted a couple of key themes that employers would be well advised to consider when dealing with their disabled employees.

Certain types of alleged discrimination cannot occur unless the employer knows (or should know) about the employee’s disability. In particular, there will be no discrimination arising from disability or a failure to make reasonable adjustments if the employer can show that it did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, that the employee was disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010.

Nevertheless, it can be difficult for an employer to argue that they could not reasonably have expected to know about an employee’s disability, as recently highlighted in the case of McCubbin v Perth & Kinross Council

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