DI Insurance Services Ltd v O'Connor UKEAT/0230/17/LA

Appeal against a decision that the Respondent had discriminated against the Claimant on grounds of her disability, contrary to section 15 of the Equality Act 2010. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant has a disability for the purposes of the 2010 Act. The Respondent gave her a 12-month written warning for being absent because of sickness. The days of absence exceeded, by a factor of six, the "trigger points" in the Respondent's sickness absence policy. The Respondent had taken no disciplinary action about the Claimant's absences in the past, although they had in several previous years exceeded the relevant trigger points. The Claimant claimed that the warning amounted to discrimination contrary to the 2010 Act. The ET upheld her claim of disability discrimination saying that it was for the employer to justify the treatment. The Respondent had not followed its policy. Its conduct in relation to the Claimant's claim was not proportionate. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal holding that the ET had been entitled to decide that the Respondent had not justified giving the Claimant a written warning for her sickness absences. It dismissed arguments that the ET had focussed too much on process in its reasoning about justification, and held that the ET's reasons for its decision were adequate.

Published: 12/06/2018 10:19

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