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Disability discrimination: Employer knew of disability at recruitment and failed to adjust

  • expand disabled

    Williams v J Walter Thompson Group Ltd [2005] IRLR 376 CA (0 other reports)

Key Points

In Williams v J Walter Thompson Group Ltd, the Court of Appeal holds:

  • An employment tribunal was correct to decide that a blind employee suffered unlawful disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal when her employer failed to provide her with the specialist equipment and training necessary for her to carry out the IT work for which she was appointed. The consequence of this was that she had almost no work to do throughout the two years of her employment.
  • The employer was aware of the employee's disability when it decided to offer her the job, and of the fact that adjustments would have to be made to accommodate this, but it failed to investigate properly the practical and financial impact of those adjustments. The discrimination could not be justified on the basis that the employer subsequently decided that the technological difficulties and financial costs of the necessary adjustments were prohibitive.