What is a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act? Well it appears that the definition is ever widening and employers should not be too hasty to assume that a medical condition will not be covered by the legislation for protection from Disability Discrimination.

Preliminary hearings in two employment tribunal claims have concluded that a severe nut allergy and severe eczema which have a serious and long term adverse effect on the employee’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities and therefore amount to a disability.

We now of course await the outcome of the tribunals as to whether or not disability discrimination did occur, but the crucial point here is that employers need to be aware of when a medical condition might have an impact significant enough to be considered a disability, and what they then need to do, both to be responsible and compassionate employers as well as to comply with the relevant legislation.

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