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Reasonable Adjustments

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Must a tribunal consider physical features and auxiliary aids when assessing a reasonable adjustments case?

Yes, held the EAT in Mallon v Aecom Ltd.

The Claimant, a litigant in person, brought a claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments for his dyspraxia during an application process. He asserted that completing an online application put him at a substantial disadvantage as compared with non-disabled applicants. The claim was struck out on the basis that he would not be able to demonstrate substantial disadvantage arising from the PCP of having to apply online and had no reasonable prospect of success.

Upholding the Claimant's appeal and remitting the case to a freshly constituted tribunal, the EAT was critical of the decision to strike out which must only be used "in the most obvious and plain cases" (citing HHJ Serota in QDOS Consulting Ltd v Swanson) and rarely with discrimination. The tribunal should have considered whether this was an auxiliary aid case and did not. The 2nd and 3rd requirements of s20 Equality Act 2010 are often overlooked.

Thanks to Karen Jackson of didlaw for preparing this case summary.