The EAT held that evidence which arose after the date of the alleged discrimination but prior to the Tribunal hearing could be used as evidence to support a finding that the claimant was disabled at the relevant time. The claimant had a history of mental illness. She was offered a job with the respondent subject to satisfactory medical clearance. The offer was later withdrawn. The claimant suffered a relapse before the Tribunal hearing.

The Tribunal wrongly disregarded the claimant’s relapse when determining the question of disability and as a result concluded that the claimant was not disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 because at the time of the alleged discrimination her mental illness was neither long term nor likely to recur. On appeal, the EAT ruled that the relapse should have been taken into account when considering the long term effect of the claimant’s impairment and by doing so the claimant did qualify as disabled.

McDougall v Richmond Adult Community College