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A recent case in the Employment Appeal Tribunal iForce v Wood concerned a question of whether a claimant’s mistaken belief that work conditions would exacerbate his disability, could lead to a finding of unfavourable treatment when the Employer refused to make adjustments.

The claimant was a packer who suffered from osteoarthritis,. When asked to move workstation she refused saying that the conditions were colder and would exacerbate her disability.
 
She was issued with a warning which she said was unfavourable treatment arising from her disability. A first instance the tribunal agreed but this was overturned at appeal.

The claimant was in fact mistaken as there was no material difference in temperature and humidity between workstations.
 
The test is found in section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 and it is an is an objective one requiring a connection between the alleged unfavourable treatment and the disability. In this case the warning did not arise from the disability but from the claimant’s mistaken belief. There was therefore no unfavourable treatment.

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