Too much sugar or not enough? – Diabetes and Discrimination

Posted on Feb 1, 2017

In Taylor v Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Ltd, the EAT allowed an appeal against a tribunal’s finding that an employee who suffered from type 2 diabetes was not considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010.

The judge had not addressed the question whether type 2 diabetes could be regarded as a progressive condition; the right question was whether the condition was likely to adversely effect normal day-to-day activities. Inadequate medical evidence had focussed on the past rather than looking at future prognosis. The judge had taken the view that there was only a small possibility of the condition progressing, especially if the employee were to follow medical advice about lifestyle. However, it was not clear from the medical evidence what the progression would be.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition, around 4 million in the UK have the condition. Further to this, 90% of the adults with diabetes have type 2. Employers need to treat conditions such as this sensitively and must remember to follow the Equality Act 2010 to prevent discrimination in the workplace. Otherwise, things could turn sour.