Diabetes And Discrimination
Tweet The Equality Act of 2010 states that your employer should be expected to make reasonable adjustments to prevent discrimination taking place. An employer should not place you in a situation where you are disadvantaged as a result of your diabetes, if it can be reasonably avoided. An example may be if you need to have breaks to test blood glucose levels. Where this can be accommodated, the employer should make adjustments to allow you to do this. I feel I am being discriminated against because of my diabetes, what should I do? Should you feel that you have a case, there are a numbers of ways to deal with the issue. Where possible you should try to speak informally with your manager, supervisor or member of human resources. Address the issue and work out what can be done to resolve the problem. Tweet Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body: Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or Being unable to produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body. From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar. The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar, likely you will never need long-term medication. Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to it Continue reading >>
Could Type 2 Diabetes Be A Disability Under The Equality Act 2010?
Under the Equality Act 2010, a person with a progressive condition (such as Type 2 Diabetes) has a disability if they “have a physical or mental impairment” which “has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities... as a result of the condition.” In a previous case, the EAT decided that Type 2 Diabetes did not itself amount to a disability but in Taylor v Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Ltd, the EAT again considered this question. The Tribunal held that Mr Taylor was not disabled based on the evidence before them, which focussed on Mr Taylor’s prognosis in the past, as the medical reports did not go into detail on the likely effect of the condition in the future. However, the EAT remitted the case back to the Tribunal for further expert evidence into ways in which Type 2 Diabetes can deteriorate and Mr Taylor’s future prognosis. It said that “Even a small possibility of deterioration... is enough to… result in the particular individual having such an impairment,” as there were various possible complications over the long-term. For progressive conditions, the relevant question was whether the condition was likely to result in a substantial adverse effect on normal day to day activities. This case illustrates the complexity in establishing if a progressive condition is a disability and the importance of asking the right questions of the medical expert when a report is being compiled on the issue of a possible disability. Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley. For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at [email protected] by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London Continue reading >>
Employment And Diabetes
Whether you're taking your first step onto the job ladder or looking to change jobs, it's important to show recruiters that you're the best person for the job, regardless of your diabetes. This guidance focuses on employment equality law, applying for jobs and managing diabetes. The Equality Act 2010 This applies in England, Wales and Scotland. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 applies in Northern Ireland. The legislation sets out the principles that employers should follow in their treatment of employees and job applicants with a disability. Although you may not consider yourself to have a disability, workers with diabetes will often be protected by the provisions in the Act. Applying for jobs It is unlawful for an employer to operate a blanket ban on recruitment of people with diabetes. Some jobs involving safety-critical work will have legitimate health requirements that may exclude some people with certain medical conditions, including diabetes. Following extensive campaigning by Diabetes UK, the blanket bans have been lifted in the emergency services for people with Type 1 diabetes and people with Type 2 diabetes who use insulin. Decisions made on someone’s suitability for employment in these services should be made by a process of individual assessment. Recruitment and retention of people with diabetes in the police, fire and ambulance services should now be subject to individual medical assessment. However the UK armed forces are exempt from the Equality Act and can operate a blanket ban on the recruitment of people with diabetes. In some NHS Ambulance Trusts, there are still restrictions in place on people with diabetes who wish to be ambulance crew. These restrictions are being challenged. You may find that if you develop diabetes while in employment, yo Continue reading >>
Is Type 2 Diabetes A Disability Under The Equality Act 2010?
Home Bulletins Is Type 2 diabetes a disability under the Equality Act 2010? Employment & Pensions E-Bulletin Article There are two types of diabetes; type 1 which is insulin controlled and is usually found to satisify the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010 and type 2, which can be controlled by diet or medication. This month the EAT has overturned an Tribunal's decision in the case of Metroline Travel Ltd v Stoute that an employee’s type 2 diabetes amounted to a disability under the Equality Act 2010. The EAT held that the condition, which was controlled by diet (i.e. by abstaining from sugary drinks), did not have a substantial adverse effect on the employee’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Facts The Claimant was employed by the Respondent as a bus driver from 24 February 1992 to 11 March 2013 when he was dismissed for gross misconduct. Whilst the Claimant's claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination arising from disability and failure to make reasonable adjustments were all dismissed and the EAT allowed the Respondent's appeal to be heard as it would affect other employees of the Respondent who also suffered from type 2 diabetes. The issue in the appeal focused on the effect of the condition of type 2 Diabetes on The Claimant's normal day to day activities and whether the effects on the Claimant meant that his condition fell within the definition of disability i.e. that it had a substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. During the proceedings it was noted that a diabetic diet involves trying to avoid foods with a significant sugar content including sweets, chocolates and fruit juices etc, and that someone suffering from type 2 diabetes who does not properly manage his blood sugar levels m Continue reading >>
Disability Discrimination: When Diabetes Is Not A Disability
Consultant editor Darren Newman considers a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision involving the concept of diabetes as a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. The case involved an individual with type 2 diabetes largely controlled by avoiding sugary drinks. Disability discrimination cases deal with a wide range of conditions, and the temptation is to divide these conditions into those that are, and those that are not, disabilities. However, this is not a very helpful approach. Disability is not a medical category; it cannot simply be diagnosed. It is a legal and social concept that depends not just on a person’s physical or mental condition, but also on the effect that this has on his or her life. Rather than considering whether or not a condition amounts to a disability, we should look at the effect that it has on the person and then decide whether or not that person is disabled. So, although the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) – in Metroline Travel Ltd v Stoute – has held that type 2 diabetes is not a disability, we should regard this with caution. On close inspection, the case is a little more complicated than the headlines would have us believe. In the first place, what the EAT actually did was to overturn an employment tribunal finding that type 2 diabetes must by its very nature be regarded as a disability. Insofar as the tribunal said that, it was clearly wrong. The EAT also acknowledged that type 2 diabetes can be a disability depending on the impact that it has on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. What has raised eyebrows in the employment law world, however, is the basis on which the EAT held that the claimant in this particular case was not disabled. Continue reading the full analysis on diabetes as a Continue reading >>
Is Diabetes A Disability?
The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against someone simply because of their disability. The definition of disability is met if someone suffers with a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ effect on their ability to do normal daily activities. Guidance from the Equality Commission states that, you should disregard any ‘treatment or correction’, that improves or alleviates the effects of the disability. Case law has previously treated diabetes as falling within the definition of disability. However, in the recent case of MetrolineTravel Ltd v Stoute, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) made a distinction between those who suffer with Type 1 diabetes and those who suffer with Type 2 diabetes. The Claimant, Mr Stoute, was a bus driver who suffered from Type 2 diabetes, which he controlled largely by avoiding sugary drinks. The Employment Tribunal held that he was disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010. The Respondent appealed and the EAT allowed the appeal on the basis that the Employment Tribunal had “misunderstood the concept of disability” under the Act. The EAT decided that the statutory guidance from the Equality Commission made clear that a condition controlled by a minor alteration of a diet was not a long term condition restricting the ability of the Claimant to carry out ordinary day-to-day tasks within the definition of disability. The EAT Judge concluded that that it would be difficult to see how a perfectly normal abstention from sugary drinks could be regarded as a medical treatment. He was therefore unable to agree with the Tribunal’s initial decision and held that the abstention from sugary drinks does not constitute a substantial adverse effect on day-to-day ac Continue reading >>
Can Type 2 Diabetes Be A Disability?
Posted on Jan 20, 2017 in Employment by Noele McClelland According to Diabetes UK, there are now 3.9 million people in the UK who are diagnosed with diabetes, and an anticipated 1.1 million currently undiagnosed. Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common type, with an estimated 90% of diabetics suffering from Type 2. In light of these alarming statistics, are employers required to make reasonable adjustments for type 2 diabetics in the workplace? Disability is one of the nine “protected characteristics” covered by the Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”). It is unlawful for an employer to treat those with disabilities less favourably than those without. In addition, employers have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees. The Act contains principles that employers should follow in their treatment of employees with disabilities. The Act defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. The Act does not refer to an exhaustive list of what will be considered as normal day-to-day activities, and rather will be determined on an individual basis. Applying common sense however, in the workplace, examples could include using a telephone or computer, writing, interacting with colleagues or following instructions. Similarly, what is considered to be a substantial and long term effect, is a question of fact and evidence but the Act provides the following guidance. The term “substantial” effect is an effect which is more than minor or trivial and an impairment will be treated as having a substantial adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities if, measures are being taken to treat or c Continue reading >>
Disability Discrimination: Is Type 2 Diabetes A Disability?
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has recently considered whether type 2 diabetes was a 'progressive condition' and therefore covered by disability discrimination law. The legal framework Under the Equality Act 2010 (the 'Act'), a person can only claim disability discrimination if they can show that they are 'disabled'. Under the Act there is a legal definition of disability which provides that a person has a disability if they have, 'a mental or physical impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.' Individuals suffering from conditions that are deemed to be progressive in nature (that is likely to get worse overtime) may still satisfy the definition of disability if they can show that their condition causes an impairment that has some impact on their ability to carry out day to day activities and that it is likely that the condition will result in future substantial adverse effects. In 2009 the Supreme Court held that 'likely' in this context meant 'could well happen'. In an earlier case, Metroline Travel Limited v Stoute, the EAT held that an individual suffering from type 2 diabetes capable of being controlled through an abstinence of sugary drinks was not disabled. The facts In Taylor v Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Ltd, the claimant had been dismissed in November 2013 by reason of incapacity or misconduct. Following his dismissal the claimant alleged that he had been suffering from a disability (type 2 diabetes) for a period of nearly 12 months prior to the dismissal. He claimed unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. The employer obtained a report from a physician with a particular interest in diabetes. The questions posed to him and the information provided largely related t Continue reading >>
Is Diet-controlled Type 2 Diabetes A Disability Under The Equality Act 2010?
With the chocolate excesses of Easter fading from our memories and the lure of summer BBQs just on the horizon, it seems that life often has a tendency to focus around socialising and meal times. I have recently got back from a week’s holiday in France where we seemed to move from one meal to another (each lasting considerably longer than a meal time at home) with very little else in between! It is not therefore surprising that there have been several cases recently focusing on the health of employees and in particular their weight and whether certain weight-related conditions should be classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010. We recently heard that obesity can, in some circumstances, lead to individuals being deemed to be disabled and the latest condition to cross the threshold of the Employment Appeal Tribunal is diet-controlled type 2 diabetes. The facts Mr Stoute was employed by Metroline Travel Limited and brought a claim for unfair dismissal and various discrimination claims. He claimed that he was disabled under the Equality Act 2010 as he had type 2 diabetes which he controlled by adopting a diet which avoided sugary fizzy drinks. I am sure everyone is familiar with the definition of a disability under the Equality Act 2010, but as a refresher, a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. There is guidance in the Equality Act 2010 which states that if someone has an impairment but they are receiving treatment for it, when trying to decide whether or not they are disabled the effect of the impairment should be considered based on what would happen if that treatment wasn’t taking place. A common exa Continue reading >>
Laws That Protect People With Type 1 Diabetes
Federal Legislation has forever changed the way that individuals live with Type 1 diabetes and other disabilities. The fight to have governmental involvement in advocacy across the globe has been a slow and sometimes frustrating process, however it continues to progress. The United States: Americans with Disabilities Act The most far-reaching legislation for those with disabilities is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passed in 1990, the ADA prevents discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of disability. Under Title I of the ADA, private employers with 15 or more employees, states, and local governments cannot require a medical examination before offering a new employee a job. This means your future employer cannot ask you whether you have diabetes before hiring you. Furthermore, once hired, an employee with diabetes can request reasonable accommodations, such as extra breaks to eat, test blood sugar levels, or take medication. If such accommodations are not an undue hardship to the employer, the employer must fulfill the requests. Under Title II of the ADA, state and local governments must provide you with services that are not any different from those they provide people without a disability. They must not screen out or exclude you because of your disability and they must modify their policies and provide reasonable accommodations if necessary. For example, a courthouse should permit you to carry your diabetes supplies with you even if it means a modification of a general policy against allowing sharp objects and food. Under Title III of the ADA, providers of public accommodations, such as daycare centers and recreational programs, must provide you with services that are not any different from those they provide people without a disability. Continue reading >>
To Tell Or Not To Tell?
A prospective employer isn’t normally allowed to ask you about your health or disability unless it’s strictly relevant to the tasks required of the job, or to make reasonable adjustments for you. It’s normally not essential that your work needs to know about your health unless it’s relevant to the tasks required in your job. But it’s important that your tell your employer about your type 1 diabetes if you want them to make reasonable adjustments, like taking breaks to check your blood glucose or treat hypos. Any medical information your employer holds about you is subject to strict data protection law. It’s up to you whether you want to tell your work colleagues about your type 1 diabetes. If you choose to tell them, you should be prepared for them asking questions or making comments, some of which may seem inappropriate. This is because many people don’t understand what type 1 diabetes means or they assume it’s treated in the same way as type 2 diabetes. Talking about how you developed your type 1 diabetes and how you treat it, can be helpful. Job interviews Again, it’s you choice whether you tell your prospective employers, but it does sometime have its drawbacks. While people with type 1 diabetes are able to do any job, some employers may be reluctant to employ someone with the condition due to misconceptions. For example, they may wrongly assume that people with type 1 diabetes can’t do a job that requires regular driving. It is possible to turn type 1 diabetes into a positive. People with type 1 have to be aware of the time, keep to a routine, follow a healthy lifestyle and attend regular clinic appointments. These are all qualities which demonstrate responsibility, self-discipline and organisational skills – traits that employers seek when re Continue reading >>
Is Having Diabetes A Disability?
If you have diabetes, and it’s being well managed, the last thing you might expect is to be called disabled. But under the Equality Act of 2010, and the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act in Northern Ireland, it’s classed as an ‘unseen disability’. But is this a fair and useful description, or an unwanted label? We take a look at both sides of the argument. A controversial topic ‘Whenever I see new patients with type 1 diabetes, I let them know their condition is recognised as a disability under the law,’ says Dr Partha Kar, clinical director of diabetes at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. Discover the legal position on type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the box below. Dr Kar says, ‘Patients’ responses are divided; half take offense and view their condition as serious but not disabling, while the other half take comfort in the term and want a letter from me to apply for whatever help it might bring.’ ‘It’s just not me’ ‘I wouldn’t consider myself to have a disability,’ says Bob Swindell, 48, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2013 and is now a trustee of Diabetes UK. ‘In general, I don’t think having diabetes is disabling and I think the majority of people with the condition would agree with me.’ When diagnosed, Swindell was overweight, inactive and had a family history of type 1 diabetes. After taking metformin for three and a half years, he’s spent the past six months on a medical trial, treating his type 2 with a reduced-carbohydrate diet and increased exercise. ‘As soon as I was diagnosed I started walking more, then did a couch to 5K walk/run programme and, once I’d lost weight and gained some confidence, I started doing parkrun (free, weekly, timed 5K events around the UK).’ Now a parkrun ambassador for diabetes, welcom Continue reading >>
Diabetes At Work: How To Avoid Disability Discrimination
Diabetes will increasingly present a challenge at work as the number of people with the condition rises and more employees could be viewed as disabled. Akshay Choudhry, an associate at Burges Salmon, considers the implications. According to NHS Choices, 3.9 million people in the UK now suffer from diabetes. By 2025, this figure is expected to rise to five million; equating to more than 1 in 13 people. As it grows as a public health threat, diabetes at work will increasingly present a challenge as more employees could be viewed as disabled As many will know, there are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. It is the latter type that is on the rise due to its link with lifestyle factors such as obesity and unhealthy diets. While the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided last year, in Karsten Kaltoft v Kommunernes Landsforening, that obesity itself is not a protected characteristic for the purposes of discrimination, its consequential effects – such as type 2 diabetes – can amount to a disability. Diabetes and disability discrimination resources While a diagnosis of diabetes does not automatically mean that an individual is disabled, those with the condition may qualify as disabled under the Equality Act if they meet the statutory test. In essence, it is the degree to which the diabetes impacts on the employee’s ability to carry out their day-to-day activities that determines whether or not they are afforded protection. Applying the disability test to diabetes The Act, which is supported by guidance on what can be taken into account in determining disability (the guidance), suggests that when determining whether or not the test of disability is met: if a condition is treated or corrected, the effect of that treatment or correction should be ignored when ass Continue reading >>
Uk Update – Type 2 Diabetes Controlled By Diet Is Not Automatically A Disability
This post was written by David Ashmore and Amy Treppass. In Metroline Travel v Stoute, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) decided that employees with type 2 diabetes controlled by diet (rather than medication) are not automatically protected by disability discrimination legislation. The Facts Mr Stoute was employed by Metroline and worked for them as a bus driver for 21 years. He suffered from type 2 diabetes. To keep his blood sugar levels low, he followed a low sugar diabetic diet which mainly consisted of avoiding soft drinks. On 11 March 2013, he arrived late at work and was dismissed for gross misconduct. He claimed that his late arrival at work was the result of diarrhoea, which was a consequence of his diabetes. Mr Stoute brought claims against Metroline of unfair dismissal, discrimination arising from disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments. A preliminary hearing took place to determine if type 2 diabetes meant that he was disabled under the Equality Act 2010. The Employment Tribunal (“ET”) referred to a medical report where it was noted that for two periods of time, Mr Stoute was not taking medication which reduces blood sugar levels, but was following a controlled diet. In rendering its decision, the ET had regard to guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the definition of disability. The guidance provides that if a person suffers from an impairment and is undergoing treatment or correction for that impairment, then the impairment is to be treated as having a substantial adverse effect if, without the treatment or correction, the impairment was likely to have that effect. The ET decided that a controlled diet amounted to treatment or correction of an impairment, and that Mr Stoute was disabled within the meaning of Continue reading >>
Should Diabetes Be Deemed A Disability?
Jade Rigby (Writer) Jade is a third year Law student at Newcastle University. She is currently completely an Erasmus year abroad at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, and will return to Newcastle in 2015. Jade is predominantly interested in commercial law, but also writes on criminal and private law topics. Recently, Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) have faced some tough challenges in relation to the Equality Act 2010. Earlier this year, Keep Calm Talk Law’s Manprabh Basi discussed a recent decision which questioned whether overweight employees could be classed as disabled. Whether a health issue is classed as a disability can have a significant practical effect on both employees and employers, and employment tribunals face the daunting challenge of deciding whether to consider a range of disorders, diseases and afflictions in the future. One such challenge arose in Metroline Travel Ltd v Stoute UKEAT/2015/0302. The central issue in this case was whether Type 2 diabetes amounted to a disability under the Equality Act 2010. Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes The NHS defines diabetes as a ‘lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high.’ The pancreas produces a hormone named insulin, which controls glucose levels in blood. The two main types of diabetes occur when there are problems with this process: Type 1 – when the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin Type 2 – when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not react to insulin According to NHS figures, ‘in England in 2010, there were approximately 3.1 million people aged 16 or over with diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed). By 2030, this figure is expected to rise to 4.6 million, with 90% of those af Continue reading >>