In Lancaster v TBWA Manchester, the EAT decided that the obligation under disability discrimination legislation to make reasonable adjustments for an employee suffering from an anxiety disorder did not require changes to be made to redundancy selection criteria.
When considering whether an adjustment is reasonable, a key issue is whether the adjustment would be effective in preventing the disadvantage to the employee. The employer in this case successfully argued that even if it had removed criteria based on communication skills and replaced them with objective criteria, the overall scoring was such that the employee would still have been selected. The fact that an adjustment to the criteria might have given the claimant a chance of avoiding redundancy did not make it reasonable. As ever, these cases turn on their facts and it is worth noting that another recent case suggested that the adjustment does not have to be completely effective in order to be reasonable