Friday 17 April 2009

Disability Discrimination:  Normal day to day activities

What does the word 'normal' mean, when considering whether something is a "normal day-to-day activity" for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995?

According to a decision of the EAT in Chief Constable of Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary v Adams, it refers to activities which are to be found amongst a range of employment situations. It would not cover a specialist skill, even though such a skill might be normal within the particular industry (eg a skilled watchmaker using specialised tools to craft fine objects of precision) - see paras. 20 and 16 of the judgment.

So, in this case, skills required specifically of a policeman would not be a 'normal day-to-day activity'. However, where the activity was a common one across a range of industries (specifically, walking around during night-shifts), then it did qualify as a 'normal day-to-day activity'.

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