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Knowledge of Disability

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Is a Claimant's strong belief that he has a disability enough to ensure that his employer should be regarded as knowing, or be reasonably expected to know, of his disability?

No, held the EAT in Toy v Chief Constable of Leicestershire, dismissing the Claimant's appeal.

The Claimant was a probationary Police Constable in Leicestershire Police, having been a PCSO in that force for some years. The Claimant's services were dispensed with during probation under Police Regulations, due to performance concerns. During the termination process, he raised the possibility of dyslexia, which had not been raised previously in work or academic training.

The tribunal did not err in law in concluding that the Respondent did not, and could not reasonably have been expected to know that the Claimant was disabled at the time (disability being later conceded), so it could not be liable for complaints of discrimination arising from disability and a failure to make reasonable adjustments. At the time of dismissal, the Claimant's contention was that it was possible that he may be dyslexic, the tribunal rightly held the Claimant was "not clear or certain that he was dyslexic".

On the facts, the EAT held that the tribunal could not have found other than that the Chief Constable did not and could not reasonably have known of the disability, so the appeal failed.

Thanks to Ed McFarlane of Deminos HR for preparing this case summary.