Disability and reasonable adjustments: is EAT wrong to say no cut-off time limit for making a claim?

By Michal Stein

Until recently, it was settled law that an employee who wanted to bring a claim for breach of his or her employer’s duty to make reasonable adjustments in respect of disabled employees had to do so within three months of the date on which the employer’s final decision is communicated to the employee. An extension could only be granted if a tribunal considered this ‘just and equitable’. An employer’s decision (which amounted to a failure to comply with the duty), said the Court of Appeal, was a one-off omission and time began to run from the date the decision was made.

An Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision has muddied the water and requires employers to review their approach to the duty to make adjustments. In essence, the EAT suggests that employees will be able to bring claims for failure to make reasonable adjustments for up to three months after the end of the employment as the duty to make reasonable adjustments is ongoing — Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Jobcentre Plus) v Jamil

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