Another Employment Tribunal Win for Fairways

A recent hearing has resulted in a positive outcome resulting in another Employment Tribunal win for Fairways and the company maintaining its 100% success rate in Employment Tribunal Hearings.

The Case

This particular case related to the Claimant alleging he had been unlawfully discriminated against on the grounds of disability by the Respondents. The claimant also claimed the Respondents were in breach of contract for failure to pay adequate notice pay.  The Respondents denied the claims submitted by the Claimant and did not accept he was disabled.

The Claimant did accept there was no breach in contract for failure to pay adequate notice pay and he therefore withdrew this section of the claim.

Legal Submission

The case of Goodwin v the Patent Office [1998] UKEAT 57982110  was referred to as was the Judgment of the EAT in the case of Morgan v Staffordshire University [2001] UKEAT 0322/00.  

Also referred to was the principle that the burden of proof is on the Claimant to show that he or she is disabled. On the issue of knowledge of disability, it was the Respondent’s position that before an employer could be held liable for a claim of either direct or disability related discrimination then, either the employer knew or the Employment Tribunal must find that the employer ought to have known of the claimant’s disability. Reference in particular to paragraphs 36 and 41 of the decision in Gallup v Newport City Council [2013] EWCA Civ 1583.  Also referred to was the case of Morgan v Armadillo Managed Services Ltd UKEAT 0567/12.

The definition of disability for the purposes of the Equality Act is set out in Section 6 and it states:-

“(1) A person (B) has a disability if (A) B has a physical or mental impairment and (B) the impairment has a substantial and long term adverse effect on B’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”.

Schedule 1 of the Equality Act provides supplementary provisions in respect of the determination of disability and in particular paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 1 states that the effect of an impairment is long term if-

  • it has lasted for at least 12 months, or
  • it is likely to last for at least 12 months, or
  • it is likely to last for the rest of the life of the person affected”.

Decision and Judgement

The Employment Judge stated, from the evidence of the respondent’s Managing Director that they had no knowledge of any disability the claimant might suffer from. It was also clear that as at the date of termination when they wrote the letter of dismissal, the Managing Director would not reasonably have known that the claimant was disabled.

The Judgment of the Employment Tribunal was that the Claimant was not disabled in terms of the Equality Act and even if he had been disabled, that the Employer did not know and could not reasonably have been aware of the Claimant’s disability.

The Claimant’s case for unlawful discrimination on the grounds of disability was therefore dismissed.

The Fairways team and their legal eagle, Jack Boyle are delighted to maintain the company’s 100% sucess rate which is great news for our clients.