The claimant argued his type 2 diabetes was a ‘progressive condition’ under the Equality Act. That was not decided, but the EAT suggested that just a ‘small possibility’ of future substantial effect could be enough to make the effect ‘likely’.
Under the Equality Act definition of ‘disability’, a person with a long-term progressive condition which has some effect on normal day-to-day activities but not yet a substantial effect is covered if the condition is likely to have that effect in future (EqA Sch1 para 8).
The claimant in Taylor v Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming, www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2016/0353_15_1612.html argued that his type 2 diabetes came within this provision.
One issue was the meaning of ‘likely’. The House of Lords has previously held that it means ‘could well happen’, in the context of discounting effects of treatment under the Equality Act.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal in Taylor went further and said that ‘likely’ is consistent with there being just a ‘small possibility’ of deterioration in a given population.
Whether that interpretation is upheld by future decisions remains to be seen.
What is ‘likely’ is also relevant as regards whether there are likely to be substantial effects when medical treatment is discounted. The case could also be relevant to this. See Disability: Effect of medical treatment.