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Tendency to steal was a manifestation of disability so dismissal not discriminatory

Makbool Javaid

Under Reg.4(1)(b) of the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010, a tendency to steal is a condition which is not treated as an impairment and therefore does not come within the statutory definition of disability. In Wood v Durham County Council, W suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative amnesia. W was issued with a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) by the police for leaving a shop with goods which he had no intention of paying for. W did not disclose this to the Council. When the Council found out about the PND, W was dismissed from his job as an anti-social behaviour officer. The EAT upheld an ET’s decision that a manifestation of W’s post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative amnesia was a tendency to steal which was an excluded condition under the 2010 Regs. The ET was entitled to reject W’s contention that his behaviour was merely memory loss and forgetfulness and not dishonest because W pleaded his case on the basis that he has a tendency to do whatever the correct description is for what happened at the store, i.e. taking goods without paying for them. As the effective cause of W’s dismissal was the excluded condition, then the disability discrimination claim failed.

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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