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RICHMOND ADULT COMMUNITY COLLEGE v ELIZABETH MCDOUGALL

When considering whether a medical condition was long term and likely to recur for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, employment tribunals must consider only evidence that was available at the time of the alleged discriminatory act. The Act required a prophecy to be made and did not permit recourse to evidence as to subsequent events.

29 January 2008

The appellant employer (R) appealed against a decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal ((2007) IRLR 771) that the respondent (M) was a disabled person for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 s 1. M had suffered from a delusional disorder and schizo-affective disorder, but recovered after medical treatment. R offered M a job as a database assistant, subject to satisfactory medical clearance. When R learned of M’s medical history, it withdrew the offer of employment, and M brought a disability discrimination claim. The employment tribunal accepted that M had a mental impairment, but held that she was not disabled within the meaning of s 1 because the impairment did not have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on her ability to carry out day-to-day activities. It also found that as at the date of the withdrawal of the offer, there was no evidence that her condition was likely to recur. The EAT reversed the tribunal’s decision, stating that the tribunal o...

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