Is it a reasonable adjustment to protect pay permanently when disability means that a teacher can no longer teach?
No, held the EAT in Aleem v E-Act Academy.
Following the long-established principle in O'Hanlon it will rarely, if ever, be a reasonable adjustment to continue pay for a role that the employee is no longer performing.
Ms Aleem was a science teacher who became unable to teach due to mental ill health which amounted to disability. She moved to an alternative role as a cover supervisor which attracted a lower level of pay. For a period of three months Ms Aleem's pay was protected at the higher rate. The tribunal found that at all times the Respondent was at pains to point out to her that this pay protection was a temporary measure during the probation period for the new role.
On accepting the new role permanently, E-Act Academy reduced Ms Aleem's pay to that of a cover supervisor. The tribunal dismissed her claim that it was a reasonable adjustments failure not to continue to pay her at a teacher's pay rate.
The EAT was clear that the higher pay for a limited period for particular reasons was quite different to the expectation that the higher pay should be permanent. That was a temporary reasonable adjustment. It would not be reasonable to continue the higher rate of pay. Appeal dismissed.
Thanks to Karen Jackson of didlaw for preparing this case summary.