In the recent case of Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust v Foster (Disability discrimination: reasonable adjustments), the EAT held that for an adjustment to be “reasonable”, a good or real prospect of removing a disabled employee’s disadvantage is not necessary; the existence of a prospect is sufficient.
Mr Foster qualifies as disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (which has now been replaced by the Equality Act 2010). He claimed that the trust placed him at a disadvantage by requiring that he continue to work in that department rather than posting him elsewhere. The trust put Mr Foster on a redeployment register.
It was held that the trust should have made a reasonable adjustment by placing Mr Foster on the redeployment register six months earlier than it did. Once on the register, there was a chance that Mr Foster would have been redeployed to a different department and would have been well enough to return to work. The EAT stated that it was not a requirement for this prospect to be “real” or “good” as any prospect of alleviating the disadvantage would be adequate.