Type 2 diabetes is not necessarily a disability for employment purposes, according to the EAT. A claimant did not satisfy the definition of disability where he was able to sufficiently reduce the effects of the impairment by a coping strategy involving abstaining from sugary drinks. The EAT considered that this type of abstinence could not be regarded as a ‘diet’ and so did not equate to a medical treatment (which is to be ignored when assessing impairment).

Of course each case should be decided on its facts so it is possible that other employees with Type 2 diabetes (or food allergies) controlled by abstention from certain products might still qualify as disabled; there must also be scope for argument in a future case as to whether this view of what constitutes a ‘diet’ is correct. (Metroline Travel v Stoute)