Employers should take extra care when disciplining a disabled employee for conduct which could be connected with the disability. In City of York Council v Grosset, the employer found itself guilty of discrimination arising from disability even though it had reasonably concluded, in light of medical evidence available at the time, that the misconduct was not connected with the disability. Unfortunately for the employer, the evidence available at the tribunal established a connection between the misconduct and the disability and, on the facts, dismissal was not justified.
The employer has sought permission to appeal, but in the meantime employers should err on the side of caution. Even if up to date medical evidence does not support a link between the misconduct and disability, it would be prudent for an employer to consider carefully whether its action would be justified should a connection be established (in particular whether the sanction is proportionate or whether a lesser sanction would achieve its aim).