Definition of Disability: Progressive Conditions (Diabetes)
In a recent case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has found that type 2 diabetes is capable of being found to be a disability.
At first instance, the Employment Tribunal relied on two medical reports, to conclude that the Claimant did not have a disability. However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the appeal on the basis that the Employment Tribunal had not applied the correct test. Type 2 diabetes, as a progressive condition, would amount to a disability, even where it did not have a substantial adverse effect on the Claimant at that time, provided that it was likely that it would result in such a condition. The question which the Employment Tribunal should ask was whether the condition was likely to result in such impairment. The medical evidence on the point was unclear and had been misinterpreted by the Employment Tribunal. The Employment Appeal Tribunal remitted the case to the original Employment Tribunal to reconsider the issue.
This case, is another reminder that the issue of disability is a difficult one for employers to navigate. Employers dealing with situations involving potential disabilities should seek legal advice wherever possible.