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Disability discrimination cases may be affected by ruling

Disability discrimination cases may be affected by ruling

A ruling made by the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) may impact on workers who claim disability discrimination on account of depression.

It was decided that cases should be assessed on the basis of the effect of the condition as opposed to strict medical diagnosis, reports.

During a recent hearing, the EAT - which serves to hear appeals and has powers set out in the Employment Tribunals Act 1996 - decided that a woman whose offer of a job was withdrawn after she disclosed she had suffered from depression should be awarded compensation.

A previous tribunal rejected her claim saying she was not suffering from clinical depression at the time of the offer and its withdrawal.

The EAT said that tribunals do not have to find a specific medical condition that a worker was suffering from as a prerequisite for determining they had been discriminated against.

Mr Justice Underhill said that hearings should examine the effect the condition has on their work and proceed from there.

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