Tag Archives: Disability

Failure to pay bonus to disabled employees is discrimination

The Land Registry has recently lost a case where it was found to have discriminated against disabled employees in its bonus scheme, which did not pay out to employees who had a warning for high levels of sickness absence.

Whilst they had reasonable adjustments in place delaying the issuing of a warning in cases of disability-related absence, the fact that receiving a warning led to an automatic disqualification from the bonus scheme was discriminatory.

The HR officer who made the decision not to pay the bonus was unaware of the employees’ disabilities, but this was not relevant.

Posted by: Clare Nicolaou Employment lawyer,  Novalex Solicitors 

Obesity is a disability says UK tribunal

Posted by: Clare Nicolaou Employment lawyer,  Novalex Solicitors

There has been a lot in the press in the last few weeks about the European Court of Justice’s decision in the Danish child-minder case, in which it concluded that obesity could potentially be a disability that is protected from discrimination.

This has now been considered by a UK tribunal in Northern Ireland for the first time and they have found a claimant to be disabled due to his obesity. In this case the claimant resigned following a series of comments that colleagues had made to him about his weight and he succeeded in his claim of harassment because of his disability.

Whilst this may be the way of things to come in the future it is worth noting that being obese is not currently enough to qualify as a disability. The obesity must have caused some long term impairment in order to qualify.

In the Northern Ireland case the claimant suffered from gout, sleep apnoea and had difficulty in walking without crutches and it was these impairments that enabled his obesity to be labelled as a disability.