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Disability discrimination: Tribunal wrongly approached question of whether or not complainant was disabled

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Vicary v British Telecommunications plc [1999] IRLR 680 EAT (2 other reports)

    • Adjusting to disability

      1 December 2002

      It is the duty of the employer to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace in order that a disabled person can be successfully employed. Failure to do so can result in a claim for discrimination. The problem lies in determining what is a reasonable adjustment, and it is here that the OH professional can make a contribution, By Joan Lewis and Linda Goldman.

    • Limited role for medical expert at tribunal

      1 September 1999

      In Vicary v British Telecommunications plc the EAT has emphasised that it is for the employment tribunal rather than for an expert medical witness to determine what is a "normal day-to-day activity" and what is a "substantial" effect.

In Vicary v British Telecommunications plc 23.8.99 EAT 1297/98, the EAT holds that an employment tribunal's conclusion that a woman did not have a disability for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 was perverse. In the light of the tribunal's findings of fact that the woman was unable to carry out a number of what would obviously be regarded as normal day-to-day activities, it should inevitably have concluded that she was a disabled person within the meaning of the Act. The tribunal also misdirected itself in law as to what is meant by a "substantial" adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out such activities; the way the statutory guidance relating to the definition of disability is to be used; and the way it dealt with the expert evidence.