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Disability discrimination: Ongoing disciplinary proceedings does not suspend duty to make reasonable adjustments

Key points

  • The fact that an employee was facing disciplinary proceedings which could have, and in fact did, result in her dismissal did not justify an employer's failure to make a reasonable adjustment under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, holds the EAT in HM Prison Service v Beart 5.9.02 EAT 774/01.
  • Whilst such circumstances may justify a failure to make a reasonable adjustment, there is always the risk that a tribunal will find that the failure was not justified, particularly where, as in this case, it is also found that the disciplinary process was unfair and the resulting dismissal a disproportionate sanction.