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Warning not a consequence of disability where mistaken belief work conditions were worse 

Makbool Javaid

In IForce Ltd v Wood, W has osteoarthritis. She perceived that her symptoms worsened in cold and damp weather. IFL asked all its workers to move between work benches, including those by the loading doors. W refused as she believed this would require her to work in colder, damper conditions. However, IFL’s investigations showed that temperature and humidity levels were hardly any different throughout the warehouse and W was issued with a written warning. The EAT overturned an ET’s decision that the warning was unfavourable treatment arising in consequence of W’s disability. There had to be some connection between the refusal to work at benches near the loading doors and W’s disability. But even though W believed her condition might worsen if she was required to work in colder and damper conditions, this was not what IFL was requiring her to do; the working conditions were not substantially different, so there was no connection between her refusal and her disability.

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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