The Court of Appeal has, this morning, handed down a staggeringly complicated decision on the correct approach to claims under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Don't even think about trying to read this one unless you're very, very brave...
In a nutshell:
- when considering what "any arrangements made by or on behalf of an employer (which)...place the disabled person...at a substantial disadvantage" means, an 'arrangement' covers an employer's belief in the Claimant's ability to fulfil the job requirements, and is not limited to the irreducible minimum of the job;
- the correct comparator(s), when examining whether the disabled person is at a disadvantage, is not the population as a whole, but those others who fulfil the other conditions for the job;
- the justification test for deciding whether a failure to make reasonable adjustments is justified (under the old s6 of the DDA) is objective. The justification test when deciding whether an employer has treated a Claimant less favourably (under the old s5 of the Act) is subjective.
Smith v Churchills Stairlifts plc