InsightsInsight - Employment & HR - POSTED: November 26 2015
Links to disability in discrimination claims must be more than just context
A decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal means a link to potential disability has to be more than just context.
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The Equality Act 2010 includes the concept of discrimination ‘arising from a disability’. In the latest case which looks at this issue, the employee concerned worked for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and was in receipt of Disability Living Allowance. An investigation considered she stopped being eligible for the benefit in 2010 and as she had continued to claim it, there was a prosecution (which was ultimately unsuccessful). The employee was also dismissed because the DWP believed that she behaved dishonestly. The employee claimed her dismissal was unfair and that she was also discriminated against for a reason ‘arising from’ her disability.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed with the original tribunal decision that her claim should not proceed as it did not have reasonable prospects of success. It was accepted the employee’s disability formed part of the background to the case but the dismissal was not treatment ‘because of something arising in consequence of the disabled person’s disability’. The employee was dismissed because the DWP thought that she had been dishonest and although there was a link with her potential disability, this was not considered to be sufficient.
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