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February/March 2020 (vol. 16/5)

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Legal Case Report: Reasonable adjustment to absence triggers

Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust v D Ward

Summary:

An EAT decision in Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust v D Ward is a reminder that it can be a reasonable adjustment to alter absence triggers for an employee with a disability if their condition is likely to lead to increased sickness absence. John Ballard reports.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), in Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust v D Ward, has upheld a decision of an employment tribunal that an employer had breached its duties under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA) and had unfairly dismissed an employee with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The employer had subjected the employee to various stages of its sickness absence management policy, having abruptly removed a reasonable adjustment to its absence triggers that it had previously provided for the employee and which had been operating successfully.

 

John Ballard is editor of Occupational Health at Work.

 

Author: Ballard J

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2020 (vol. 16/5) pp37-39

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