• Robert Spicer

Disability Discrimination

DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

Reasonable adjustments

Case Griffiths v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2014) Eq Opp Rev 249:31

Facts G was employed by the DWP as an administrative officer. From February until May 2011 she was off work sick with post-viral fatigue. When she returned to work she was referred for an occupational health assessment. This confirmed that she was suffering from fibromyalgia, which caused widespread pain and extreme tiredness. Before receiving the OH report, the employer warned G that a continued pattern of future sickness might result in dismissal or demotion. G lodged a grievance arguing that reasonable adjustment should be made to its absence management policy. She complained of disability discrimination. The ET rejected the complaint on the basis that G had not been less favourably treated than other employees. G appealed to The EAT.

Decision 1. The appeal was dismissed.

2. The employer was under no duty to make reasonable adjustments in the application of its absence management policy.

3. The policy provided for special allowances to be made in relation to employees with a disability and did not place a disabled employee with poor attendance at a particular disadvantage when compared to employees who were not disabled.

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