The courts’ increasingly liberal approach to article 15 claims places a greater onus on employers to provide objective justification for discrimination, says Karen Jackson

The Equality Act 2010 introduced section 15 disability discrimination to reverse the effect of Lewisham v Malcolm [2008] UKHL 43, which, although a housing case, drove a coach and horses through the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended. Employers could justify any discriminatory treatment provided they could show the treatment was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. The provision was deliberately loose but could be tempered by a justification defence.

Section 15 is an entirely new provision which goes much further in disability-related discrimination. In the last two years, more decisions have come through the courts around this. Pr...

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