0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

'unfavourable' treatment defined in disability discrimination cases

18 December 2018

The Supreme Court has held that 'unfavourable' treatment is not the same as a 'detriment' for the purpose of considering a claim for discrimination arising from a disability.

The claimant in Williams v Trustees of Swansea University Pension and Assurance Scheme was entitled to a final salary pension when he took early retirement due to disability. Because his hours had been reduced as a result of reasonable adjustments, his pension was based on this reduced salary. The claimant claimed that this amounted to discrimination arising from his disability.

Tribunal agreed with the claimant. However, the Supreme Court held that, as final salary pension was only available for early retirement which was related to disability, paying the claimant at a reduced rate was not unfavourable treatment. The early payment of a pension represented advantageous treatment. The fact that it was not as advantageous as the treatment other disabled people might have received did not make it unfavourable. The Supreme Court held that the Tribunal had equated unfavourable treatment with detriment, and that this was incorrect.

This case highlights the distinction between unfavourable treatment and detriment. When defending disability discrimination claims, it is important to identify the right test.

Related opinions

Symptoms of menopause can constitute a disability

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently found that an employment tribunal was wrong to strike out a claim on grounds that menopausal symptoms did not amount to a disability under the Equality Act 2010 (Rooney v Leicester City Council).

View blog

Employment Appeal Tribunal rules no entitlement to pay for zero-hour worker during a period of suspension

In a recent case the Employment Appeal Tribunal determined that, as a zero-hour worker, the Claimant was not entitled to be paid whilst he was suspended pending an investigation into an allegation of misconduct.

View blog

Flexible working and leave for carers

The Government has launched a consultation today on potential changes to the statutory flexible working regime.

View blog

Importance of considering flexible working applications

An employment tribunal has awarded an employee almost £185,000 for indirect discrimination following a failure to adequately consider the employee’s flexible working request.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up