Is Long Term Stress A Disability

Date Added 18.01.17

Not on its own found the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

As an employer it is hard to know whether to treat an illness as a disability for the purposes of disability discrimination. For an illness to be a disability under the Equality Act it has to be a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term negative effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

The EAT recently held that long term stress is not a disability unless there is also something else.

In this particular case the employee asserted two disabilities: dyslexia and stress. He made more than 90 allegations of race and disability discrimination. The EAT considered the distinction between stress and mental illness which is helpful for employers – unhappiness, the tendency to nurse grievances and a refusal to compromise is not in itself a mental impairment.

If an employee is found to have a disability you must remember that as an employer you have a duty to make reasonable adjustments.

If you need help with any employment issues then do not hesitate to contact one of our Employment Law team.

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