Opinion that employee not disabled under Equality Act does not give employer defence for not making reasonable adjustments
By Alison Downie
In the recent case of Gallop v Newport City Council (2013 EWCA), the Court of Appeal decided that an employer cannot simply rely on their Occupational Health adviser’s opinion that an employee is not disabled under the discrimination legislation to avoid liability to make reasonable adjustments.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees. However, this duty only arises where the employer knows or is reasonably expected to know that the employee is suffering from a qualifying disability.
So liability requires knowledge of such disability on the part of the employer. The employer’s knowledge can be actual or constructive, meaning that knowledge will be presumed by law if it is or would have been obtainable by the exercise of reasonable care…
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