Wednesday, 14 March 2018

ARAG Legal Services website - Free Business Bulletins PART 2

I hope your clients have rushed to register to use following my earlier blog, in which I provided information about the General Data Protection Regulations, extracted from the Business bulletin which is produced by the team behind our Business Legal Services website.

I explained that in addition to maintaining the law guide and creating on-line legal documents for clients to customise to their own circumstances, our content team also publish topical Business Bulletins. Once registered with the site, customers can opt- in to receive these.

 Here’s a second chance for you to encourage clients to register. Below is an extract from a recent bulletin on employment cases. Take a minute to send this to your clients with a reminder of their voucher code and encourage them to register on the Business Legal Services website to receive information like this in the future.

Employment case law update

Disability legislation applies if impairment could lead to disability, say EAT

The Equality Act makes it unlawful to treat someone with a disability less favourably than others in
similar circumstances.
What if they have a minor impairment that doesn't affect their day-to-day activities, but you're
worried it might become worse and then amount to a disability and affect their ability to do the job?
Is it safer to dismiss them at this stage so you can avoid having to grapple with the Equality Act?

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently considered this issue. A police officer had
applied to transfer to another role. She had a hearing impairment that did not affect daily activities.
The constabulary was worried that it might become worse and therefore rejected her application.

The EAT decided that this was unlawful discrimination. How did they reach that conclusion?

Progressive conditions

Disability is defined as an impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on the ability to
carry out daily activities. However, the Equality Act explicitly says that if a condition doesn't yet
have a substantial effect but is likely to get worse so that it does, that's considered to be a disability.

Perceived disability discrimination

The Equality Act also protects people who are perceived to have the quality in question. For
example, it would be sexual orientation discrimination to treat someone less favourably than others
because you incorrectly think they are homosexual.

The reasoning in this recent case

This decision was based on these two points. The employer perceived the employee to have a
progressive condition, and treated her less favourably for that reason.
We sometimes see this in relation to stress: an employer dismisses before the condition becomes
depression. This decision means that's unlawful.

What this means for you

We understand that the constabulary's appealing to the Court of Appeal, so the law on this may be
refined. However, for now you should assume this is the law. In other words, you can't avoid the
Equality Act by acting quickly, before a condition gets worse and amounts to a disability.

How we can help

If you think that an employee or an applicant may have a disability, you're expected to make
reasonable adjustments so that they can continue in their position. Our Employee Handbook and in
particular its Equal opportunities policy cover reasonable adjustments.

This Blog features legal content from Epoq Legal services, creators of ARAG Business Legal Services. 


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