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Reasonable Adjustments

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Does an employer need to know the specifics of a disabled person’s substantial disadvantage before being required to make reasonable adjustments?

No, held the EAT in AECOM Limited v Mallon, dismissing the employer’s appeal on that point.

The Claimant applied for employment at the Respondent (where he had previously worked and been dismissed during probation). He sought a telephone interview to supplement his online application as a reasonable adjustment, having informed the Respondent of unspecific disability-related difficulties with making on online application, which he did not explain when requested by email. The Respondent did not agree to a telephone interview. The tribunal upheld a complaint of a failure to make reasonable adjustments.

The Respondent's appeal against the findings that it had been under a duty to make reasonable adjustments failed. The tribunal was entitled to find that they had constructive knowledge of disability in the circumstances, as it had failed to make reasonable enquiries of the Claimant, e.g. by phoning him.

One ground of appeal succeeded as due to a misunderstanding of the evidence, the tribunal’s finding regarding which team the Claimant had applied to work in was perverse, that point was remitted to the same tribunal.

Thanks to Ed McFarlane for preparing this case summary.