Knowledge of disability

Do you have a duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 for an employee who believes he has a disability when you have no such evidence?

Mr Toy worked as a probationery police officer for Leicestershire Police. His employer had serious concerns about Mr Toy’s performance during his probation and held a meeting with him to consider his employment. At the end of that meeting Mr Toy mentioned that he might be suffering from dyslexia. This had never been mentioned before in work or training. No evidence was presented in support of this remark. Mr Toy was dismissed.

Mr Toy raised an employment tribunal claim for disability discrimination and a failure to make reasonable adjustments. He was later found to be dyslexic. He argued that his employer knew or should have known that he was dyslexic at the time it dismissed him. It should have made reasonable adjustments rather than dismissing him.

Mr Toy was unsuccessful in his claim and his subsequent appeal. The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that just because he had a belief that he was dyslexic did not mean that the police force should have known that he was dyslexic. Raising the possibility of the disability in the dismissal process was not enough. Mr Toy was not clear or certain that he had dyslexia. This meant that the police force did not have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for Mr Toy.

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