Aleem v E-ACT Academy Trust Ltd [2021] UKEAT 0099_20_2807

Appeal concerning reasonable adjustment where the claimant could not continue to work as teacher due to her mental health but was offered a role as cover supervisor on lawyer rates of pay.

The claimant, a science teacher, became unable to continue in that role due to her mental health but in March 2016 returned to work as cover supervisor, a role with a lower rate of pay. She continued to be paid at teachers’ rates temporarily for a three-month probation period, and subsequently while a grievance process played out. An occupational health report indicated that the claimant remained long-term unfit to return to the teaching role so she accepted an offer to continue as cover supervisor at the lower rate of pay but issued a claim that it was a failure to comply with the duty of reasonable adjustment not to continue to pay the claimant at teachers’ rate. That claim was dismissed.

In this appeal, HHJ Auerbach dismissed the appeal as the ET had correctly directed itself, properly concluding that it was not reasonable to expect the respondent to continue to pay the claimant at the rates associated with the old role, once the probation period and grievance processes had been completed, as consideration of reasonable adjustment no longer applied. Neither was it wrong to take into account the significant additional cost involved in continuing to pay the claimant at teachers’ rates and evidence of the claimant's financial pressures in reaching that conclusion. He also dismissed a cross-appeal concerning the relevant PCP.

Published: 09/08/2021 15:49

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