Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Disability Discrimination: Meaning of 'Day to Day' Activities

Thanks to Ed McFarlane of Deminos HR for preparing this case summary
Are 'warehouse operations', such as manually lifting and moving cases of up to 25 kg, 'normal day-to-day activities' for the purposes of disability under the Equality Act 2010?

Yes, held the EAT overturning an employment tribunal's decision in Banaszczyk v Booker.

The Claimant, a picker in a distribution centre, had been found not to be disabled at a preliminary hearing. The Employment Judge, having accepted medical evidence regarding the Claimant's long-term back condition, considered that it did not have a substantial adverse effect on his carrying out 'normal day-to-day activities' as its impact was limited to manual lifting of items of up to 25kg at work, which the Employment Judge regarded as not being a 'normal day-to-day' activity.

The EAT disagreed, noting that the scope of 'normal day-to-day activities' extended to warehouse work (and work generally). So, on the evidence accepted by the employment tribunal, the only conclusion was that the Claimant was a disabled person.

The EAT cautioned against regarding a work rate, such as a warehouse 'pick rate', as an impaired activity, e.g. a target of moving 210 cases per hour, but rather to look at the impairment of the activity itself, e.g. the lifting and moving of cases.

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