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10th January 2018

Assumption hearing loss would get worse was disability discrimination

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  • Assumption hearing loss would get worse was disability discrimination

The assumption that a police officer's hearing condition would deteriorate further was found to be disability discrimination by perception by the Employment Appeals Tribunal. Norfolk Constabulary rejected a transfer request from a serving officer with a hearing condition (which did not prevent the officer from passing the practical functionality test) due to the fear that the condition would worsen.

The case is an unusual example of the discrimination by perception provision in the Equality Act 2010 being exercised at a tribunal. It should be noted too that an indirect or direct discrimination claim on its own may have failed, and the key driver of the tribunal's decision was the finding that the claimant was treated differently than someone with her actual abilities because she was perceived to have a progressive condition that would in the future require her to be put on restricted duties.

Read People Management's article here for more information.