Employment Cases Update

All Answers Ltd v W & Anor [2021] EWCA Civ 606

Date published: 11/05/2021

Appeal against an EAT judgment, upholding the judgment of the ET which concluded that the claimants were disabled within the meaning of section 6 and Schedule 1 of the Equality Act 2010. Appeal allowed and remitted to the ET.

The claimants, Mr W and Ms R, alleged that they were the subject of acts on 21 and 22 August 2018 which gave rise to claims for disability discrimination or amounted to a failure to make reasonable adjustments. The respondent accepted that the claimants each had an impairment as at those dates. However, it contended that the ET erred in failing to consider whether the impairment had a substantial and long-term adverse effect, that is an effect which, judged at the date of the alleged discriminatory acts (21 and 22 August 2018), was likely to last for 12 months and, in the case of Ms R, wrongly took into account events occurring after that date. The claimants contended that the employment tribunal did address the relevant issue and did give adequate reasons for its conclusion.

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. The central issue was whether the ET did assess whether the effect of the claimants' mental impairment, assessed as at 21 and 22 August 2018, was likely to last for at least 12 months. The ET looked at the position as at the date of the preliminary hearing, that is 28 October 2019, which was reflected in its judgment where it said both claimants "are disabled". The language did not suggest that the ET regarded itself as considering whether, as at the material date (the alleged acts of discrimination on 21 and 22 August 2018) the claimants were disabled.

Read the full text of the judgment on Bailii or download the judgment using the link below.