There have been many examples now of the courts choosing to apply a wide interpretation of ‘provision, criterion or practice’ under the Equality Act 2010. The latest Carreras v United First Partnership Research, has added to this advising that any formal or informal policies, rules, practices, arrangements or qualifications including one-off decisions and actions can be included in PCP.
In this case, an employee had previously worked late but was returning to work on reduced hours following an accident. After a length of time the employee had requested to work late on occasion. The employer then had assumed that the employee would do so again and asked which nights he would be doing. This assumption was objected to by the employee and a formal complaint was made. The employer has assumed he would not object rather than consulting him first. After an argument about the situation he resigned and bough a claim of discrimination based on lack of reasonable adjustments.
The original ruling had ruled in favour of the company, saying that the assumption was not a requirement but just an assumption. The Appeal Tribunal overruled this and stated that even an assumption without reasonable adjustments was contrary to PCP.
This case should act as a reminder to employees that all aspects in relation to reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee, should be discussed in full and considered without any assumption or conversation being made as to the outcome. PCP is widely applied and employers should be careful and considerate of this.
If you have any questions about long-term absence, managing disabilities or discussing reasonable adjustments please speak to your HR Advisor or call 01924 827869. If you are unsure how to apply the Equality and Diversity Act itself then why not attend out training on Tuesday 4th October