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Hot Stuff in the EAT

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The Employment Appeal Tribunal admitted woolly hats as evidence of disability but, after hearing other evidence about underwear and thick overcoats, dismissed a claim that depriving an employee of his personal heater was discriminatory.

Mr Sawyer braved the breezy mid-20s temperatures of mid-August last year protected by no more than a heavy overcoat and two woolly hats, only to see his condition, that purportedly leaves him vulnerable to temperatures below 27 Celsius, dismissed as a disability in the EAT (Sawyer v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions). Mr Sawyer worked at Job Centre Plus and claimed for disability discrimination when his employer took away the personal heater that he had used (along with thick underwear, outer clothing and two woolly hats) to keep warm.