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.
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 di Continue reading