Luton Borough Council was prosecuted by the HSE late last year following an incident at a high school in which an assistant headteacher was attacked by a pupil and left with life-changing injuries.
The EAT decided that a warehouse worker, who had difficulty lifting up to 25kg, was disabled for the purposes of the Act.
Mr Banaszczyk worked in a distribution centre and was employed to lift and move cases by hand for loading onto pallet trucks. A long term back condition meant that he could not lift items at work of up to 25kg but was able to do other certain day to day activities, such as carry a bag of shopping. Mr Banaszczyk was dismissed on the grounds of capability as he could not achieve the standards of work set by his employer for lifting certain items.
The Employment Tribunal found that this condition did not have a substantial adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day to day activities as its impact was limited to manual lifting of items up to 25kg at work, thus was not a ‘normal day to day activity’ for the purposes of the Equality Act. The EAT disagreed. They considered that modern UK working requires many employees to lift heavy items of up to 25kg across a range of occupations. They suggested that employers should look at the activity itself, which in this case was the lifting and moving of cases and it was clear that Mr Banaszczyk’s ability to do lifting and carrying at work was impaired because of his back condition.
The decision is surprising. There are likely to be a number of people who would struggle to lift 25kg, but would not normally be regarded as disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act. In addition, guidance to the Act on matters to be taken into account in determining disability says that an inability to move heavy objects without assistance or mechanical aid, such as moving large suitcases or a heavy piece of furniture, would not be a day to day activity.
Consequently, watch this space for a further appeal on this decision. In the meantime, employers should bear this decision in mind if an employee is struggling to perform tasks for a health related reason.
For more information
Please contact Kate Watkins for information or advice on employment issues.
This ebriefing looks at the proposal to set out 'public procurement principles' in the proposed procurement legislation.
Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated that there is great resilience and innovation in the housing sector across Greater Manchester, it has also brought shortfalls and other priorities sharply into foc
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.