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Metroline Travel Ltd v Stoute UKEAT/0302/14; (2015) EMPLR 023
26 January 2015
Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)
His Honour Judge Serota QC
Type 2 diabetes is not necessarily a disability.
Disability means an impairment which has a substantial,
long-term, adverse effect on the ability to carry out day-to-day activities. An
impairment is treated as having a substantial adverse effect even if that
effect is avoided by treatment or correction. The risk of a hypoglycaemic
attack is avoided if the individual manages his or her diet properly. Having to
stick to a particular diet may amount to ‘treatment’ or ‘correction’, but mere
abstention from particular foods or drinks (eg sugary drinks) does not amount
to ‘treatment’ or ‘correction’ – just as a nut allergy cannot be said to be
‘treated’ by not eating nuts. Nor is the need to avoid certain foods or drinks
an ‘adverse effect on day-to-day activities’.
In this case, S suffered
from type 2 diabetes and had to avoid sugary drinks. He claimed that this
amounted to a disability. The EAT disagreed. Abstaining from sugary drinks was
not ‘treatment’ nor did it amount to a substantial adverse effect on day-to-day