Happy New Year
Are you still eating those chocolates?
Remember in December 2014 it was decided by the European Courts in FOA (Kaltoft) v Billund that obesity can be classed as a disability.
A person is disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
It is long term if it has lasted or is likely to last 12 months or more.
However in order to fit the criteria above a person must be able to show that the impairment has a substantial impact on their ability to carry out normal daily activities such as reading, writing, using public transport, making telephone calls etc. As such many disability related claims fail as it is difficult to establish this.
If an employee does have a disability then they are afforded additional rights. In particular reasonable adjustments should be made to their role or work place to assist them. For instance allocating their duties to a co-worker, altering hours of work or place of work, getting or changing equipment, providing supervision or support.
If you are unsure as to whether an employee’s impairment could be a disability then medical advice from their GP or an independent occupational health adviser is best. Certain information must however be provided to the employee before these steps can be taken and it is always advisable to take advice before commencing this.
The above case is an important one as it will no doubt impact on individuals and organisations going forward. Reasonable adjustments for a disability of this type may include allowing access to parking spaces closer to the building or use of lifts or change of work place.
Perhaps as a New Year gift to staff you could allow access to:
For more information please contact Marie on Marie@consilialegal.co.uk or call 0113 3571317