Did the employer fail to make reasonable adjustments when considering alternative employment for a redundant disabled employee?
Yes, said the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of London Borough of Southwark v Charles.
Mr Charles’ disability meant that he was unable to attend administrative meetings which included attending interviews. His employer, however, expected him to attend a formal interview to assess him for an alternative role.
Mr Charles argued that he should have been interviewed at home rather than in the workplace; that he should have been provided with information in advance as part of a less formal process; and that his managers should have been able to take a view as to his suitability for the alternative role as it was significantly junior to the one he had held previously.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed and upheld the tribunal’s decision finding the employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal commented that the requirement to make reasonable adjustments does not mean the employer has to automatically appoint the employee to the post.
However, this case demonstrates it is important for an employer to consider how it can assess a disabled employee for deployment taking into account their particular circumstances, so as not to put them at a significant disadvantage.
Further details about this case are here.