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Exemption from making reasonable adjustments

Posted on 10th December 2009
Case law

In this case, a new two-stage test has been advanced by the EAT.

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Simon Quantrill Simon
Managing Partner Telephone: 01473 688100

Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions v Alam


Where a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) applied by or on behalf of an employer places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled, the employer must take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances, in order to prevent the PCP having that effect. This obligation is often referred to as "making reasonable adjustments", even though the DDA does not actually use this phrase.

The decision

It was held that employers are under no obligation to make reasonable adjustments if they do not know and could not reasonably be expected to know that the person has a disability and is likely to be disadvantaged by the PCP.

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