Disability discrimination: is an employer under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for carers?
Solicitor, Nathalie Stewart, takes a look at the decision in Hainsworth v Ministry of Defence and what it means for employers.
Ms Hainsworth worked for the MOD as a civilian teacher based in Germany. She had a disabled daughter who lived with her.
The MOD offered education to the children of their employees but it did not offer special education. Because of this Ms Hainsworth requested a transfer to the UK where specialised education would have been available for her daughter. Her request was refused and she brought a claim for a failure to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.
Her claim was rejected. The EAT held that the duty to make reasonable adjustments is aimed at supporting the needs of employees and not disabled persons cared for by employees.
You can find full details of the case here.
What this means for you
For employers, it will be comforting that the duty to make reasonable adjustments doesn’t extend to situations where the employee is a carer of a disabled person.
But it is important not to forget the carer of a disabled person may have claims under direct discrimination and shouldn’t be treated differently because of this.
Need advice? We can help youReturn to the insights archive »
The content on our site is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site.
Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date.