Gillespie v Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust [2022] EAT 133

Appeal against the dismissal of the Claimant's claim that the Respondent had failed to make reasonable adjustments. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant, who was a nurse, went off sick, suffering from a serious illness which prevented her from standing for more than 2-3 minutes at a time and from manual handling. The Claimant was sent a redeployment registration form. The ET held that the Claimant failed to return the form to the respondent. A sickness absence meeting was held in the absence of the Claimant. The Claimant then sent an email to the Respondent complaining that there had been no contact about the possibility of redeployment. The Claimant resigned. The the ET the Claimant submitted that the Respondent had failed to engage with her regarding redeployment which amounted to a failure to make reasonable adjustments. The Respondent's PCP of requiring the employee to be fit and well enough to perform the relevant duties put her at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with those who were not disabled as had the Respondent actively engaged in the redeployment provision in the sickness absence policy, she may have been able to return to work given the content of the Occupational Health (OH) report which recommended a sedentary, alternative role should be considered. Due to the Respondent's failure to make reasonable adjustments the Claimant was liable to be dismissed on the grounds that she could not perform her role. The ET dismissed the claim and she appealed.

The EAT allowed the appeal. The ET concluded that because there was no general practice of applying the redeployment policy as it had been applied to the Claimant, presumably by failing to contact her about redeployment, this meant that no relevant PCP had been applied to the Claimant at all. The analysis was not of the PCP identified by the Claimant, which was the asserted requirement to be fit to undertake the duties of her role as a staff nurse.

Published: 12/09/2022 15:36

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