Employment Law Update

This article was taken from the JST Lawyers Newsletter and can be read in full by clicking the following link.

Employment Law Update

Disability Discrimination: An Update

In a recent case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given helpful guidance as to the meaning
of ‘disability’.

Under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act), a person has a ‘disability’ if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. An impairment’s effect is ‘substantial’ for the purposes of the disability definition if it is ‘more than minor or trivial’.


The employee worked as a station assistant at London Bridge. His job required him to stand for
substantial amounts of time. He developed back pain that prevented him from standing for more than
25 minutes at a time and he was ultimately dismissed on the grounds of capability. He brought a
claim against his employer for disability discrimination.

His claim was unsuccessful at the Employment Tribunal. The Tribunal held that he was not disabled.

It accepted that he had a ‘physical impairment’ but ruled that the impairment did not have a
substantial adverse effect on his ability to carry out day-to-day activities. He appealed to the EAT.

To read about how the EAT upheld his appeal please click on the following link.