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The recent case of Crossland v OCS Group 2013, considered the issue of reasonable adjustments and demonstrates that just because an employee is disabled, you do not necessarily have to make adjustments.

C, who was a diabetic, worked as a lone security guard. He was required to patrol outside the premises at night. OCS accepted that C was disabled under the Equality Act 2010. C refused to undertake any further outside patrols claiming that he could suffer from hypoglycemic episodes that may lead to serious injury, or death, if he could not obtain assistance. He further argued that by imposing a requirement on him to undertake outside patrols, OCS was in breach of its statutory duty to make reasonable adjustments.

At a pre-hearing review the judge found that the requirement to carry out external patrols was a workplace "provision, criterion or practice" (PCP). However he also found that the PCP itself was unlikely to put C at a substantial disadvantage compared to a person without his disability because the risk of injury, or death, was no higher outside OCS's premises than it was inside them. C was therefore not at a "substantial disadvantage" being a diabetic and OCS was not obliged to make reasonable adjustments in light of his medical condition. To add insult to injury, C was ordered to pay a £250 deposit to proceed. C duly appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and lost.

See Appeal No. UKEAT/0340/12/SM

Sarah Rushton

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