The Employment Appeals Tribunal has held that there was no unlawful disability discrimination where an employer making redundancy selection took account of sick absence for a medical reason, which did not amount to a disability. This was so even when the employee had also been absent for something that was a disability.

What does this mean?

When scoring employees for redundancy, employers may take into account periods of sickness absence for reasons other than disability even if the employee was absent at the same time because of a disability.

What should employers do?

Where sickness absence is used to score employees for redundancy selection, employers should disregard periods of absence  solely due to disability (or pregnancy) but can take into account any periods where the employee was absent for other sickness reasons even if  those periods overlap with a disability related absence. Espie v Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Limited