The House of Lords has significantly broadened the definition of disability.

Disability is defined as an impairment which has lasted 12 months or is likely to last for 12 months or until death. It must have a substantial effect or be likely to have such an effect if the employee were not receiving medical treatment, and if the effect ceases it is treated as continuing to have that effect if the effect is likely to recur. Progressive conditions are covered as soon as there is some (non-substantial) effect on activities if a substantial adverse effect is likely to develop.

Upholding a Northern Ireland Court of Appeal decision, the House of Lords has ruled that "likely" means "could well happen", rather than the previous interpretation set out in statutory guidance of "more probable than not". This test is easier to satisfy and could bring many more employees within the definition. (SCA Packaging v Boyle, HL)