McQueen v General Optical Council

Appeal against dismissal of claims of unfavourable treatment arising from disability.

The claimant was employed as a registration officer by the respondent and it was accepted that he had dyslexia, symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome and other conditions that are disabilities for the purposes of the Equality Act. Two incidents, referred to as meltdowns, and other matters, including misleading applicants over policy, led to the claimant being dismissed. Subsequent claims in the ET were unsuccessful as they found the claimant’s disability was not the cause of the termination.

In the EAT, the claimant submitted, broadly, that the ET had erred as the disability does not necessarily need to be the sole or even main reason for the “something” that arises in consequence of it, it need only be trivial, and that medical evidence drew a clear link between the claimant’s disabilities and his conduct. Kerr J rejects those arguments, despite the difficulties of interpreting the ET judgment. He accepts the respondent’s submission that: * “once the tribunal had determined that the disabilities did not have any effect on the claimant’s conduct on the occasions in question, the further question whether any unfavourable treatment was “because of” that conduct did not arise.”*

and that the tribunals’ test of causation when considering the claimant's disabilities was not too strict.

Published: 17/03/2023 16:01

Sign up for free email alerts

Email address
First name
Last name
Receive daily
Receive weekly
I agree to this site's terms and conditions