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Disability discrimination: Putting rollers in hair and applying make-up are "normal day-to-day activities"

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Ekpe v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2001] IRLR 605 EAT (3 other reports)

    • Devil in the detail

      1 March 2002

      The complexities of the Disability Discrimination Act make it easy to slip up in practice. There are areas in which occupational health and personnel practitioners really need to be on their toes

    • Activities done by only one sex are "normal"

      1 September 2001

      In Ekpe v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis the EAT has overruled an employment tribunal that rejected a claim that a woman was disabled, even though she could not put rollers in her hair and could not always use her right hand to apply make-up, on grounds that neither was a "normal day-to-day activity" because they are activities carried out almost exclusively by women.

    • Tribunal's assessment of disability was unfair

      1 July 2001

      When determining a disability discrimination claim, a tribunal should have considered the tasks the plaintiff could not, rather than could, perform. Plus, cases on constructive dismissal, disciplinary hearings and finding a race discrimination comparator.

In Ekpe v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis 25.5.01 EAT 1044/00, the EAT reverses an employment tribunal's decision that a woman with an impairment of her right hand, constituting a weakness of some of the muscles required for its full function, did not have a disability for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The tribunal erred in considering what the woman could still do, rather than what she could not do or had difficulty doing. She could not put rollers in her hair and sometimes had to use her left hand to apply her make-up, and yet the tribunal concluded, wrongly, that these were not "normal day-to-day activities". In the EAT's view, anything done by most women, or most men, is a "normal day-to-day activity".