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Definition of Disability

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Did an employee who suffered from paranoid delusions that affected his timekeeping have a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010?

No, held the EAT in Sullivan v Bury Street Capital Limited.

The Claimant's condition caused him to believe that he was being tracked by a gang of Russians. The delusions impacted his timekeeping and attendance.

The tribunal concluded that, at the relevant time, the substantial adverse effect that existed, and was caused by the condition, was not long term, as it was not likely to recur.

The EAT agreed, rejecting the argument that this was in error as the substantial adverse effect did recur later. The tribunal was required to make its assessment on the basis of condition prevailing at the time. The fact that the substantial adverse effect had in fact recurred did not preclude the tribunal from concluding that, as at an earlier date, it was not likely to do so.
Thanks to Tim Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers for preparing this case summary.