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Employee not disabled where contact lens worn to correct double vision

Makbool Javaid

Mart v Assessment Services Inc appears to be the first appellate court case to consider the interpretation of  Schedule 1 para 5(3) of the Equality Act 2010, that in determining whether there is a substantial adverse effect on the ability of a person to carry out normal day-to-day activities, then where eyesight is concerned, the extent that the person’s impairment is correctable by spectacles or contact lenses can be taken into account, i.e. the impairment has to be judged with the corrective measure in place. In this case, the EAT agreed with the ET that M was not a disabled person because her diplopia was corrected by wearing a contact lens in her left eye which resolved her symptoms of double vision. Whether an impairment is correctable is a practical issue. There was no dispute that the lens corrected the double vision problem, and although there was some peripheral vision loss, there was no indication that the side effects were such as to make the use of a lens unacceptable or unworkable. 

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

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