Discrimination – reasonable adjustments
The Equality Act of 2010 introduced a duty for employers to make reasonable adjustments to take account of the needs of a disabled employee or job. The duty arises where an employer’s “provision, criterion or practice” (PCP) places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled.
In the case of Nottingham City Transport Ltd v Harvey  which was a case concerning disability discrimination, it was held by the EAT that a flawed disciplinary procedure did not amount to a “provision, criterion or practice” (PCP) therefore meaning that the employer did not have to make reasonable adjustments. The employee’s argument was that the flawed procedure constituted a ‘practice’ but the EAT said that for something to amount to a ‘practice’ there had to be repetition. As this was a one-off process, it did not involve repetition and could therefore not amount to a PCP and the disability discrimination claim failed.
EMPLOYERS: be mindful of your obligations under the Equality Act 2010 in connection with reasonable adjustments. Consider the circumstances of each case individually and carefully before taking action. If in doubt, seek legal advice!