The EAT has overturned the decision of the tribunal in Banaszczyk -v- Booker 2016 and confirmed that warehouse operations, including lifting and moving cases weighing up to 25kg each, are normal day-to-day activities.
Under the Equality Act 2010 a person is disabled if he or she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. The Claimant was employed as a picker at a distribution centre, and had to lift and move heavy cases. Following a car accident, he developed a back condition which impaired his ability to do this. He was dismissed by reason of incapacity and brought claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. At a preliminary hearing, a tribunal held that the Claimant was not disabled.
The EAT held that the reasons given at the preliminary hearing were inadequate and that given the findings of fact by the tribunal there was only one possible outcome, i.e. that the Claimant was disabled, so the case did not have to be remitted. Lifting and moving goods at work is a normal day-to-day activity. Large numbers of people are employed to do such work across a range of occupations, and it is not a specialist activity.