Written warning was not a substantial disadvantage

In Griffiths v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions UKEAT/0372/13/JOJ, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that a written warning given to a disabled employee who was suffering from post-viral fatigue and fibromyalgia did not place her at a substantial disadvantage, and therefore the employer did not have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to their absence management policy.

The rationale behind this decision was that Griffiths had not been treated in a different way to a non-disabled employee who was absent for the same length of time.

This decision suggests that an employer of a deaf person who is given a written warning for absences from work due to attending audiology appointments etc. may not have to make reasonable adjustments in considering whether or not to issue the written warning.


Deaf, hubby to Rachel, dad to Corey, Libby and Emily, Solicitor, Lecturer in Legal Practice at University of South Wales, PhD student at University of Leicester.

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1 Response

  1. Natalya D says:

    This is where the Equality Act completely lets disabled people who need adjustments to attendance so we can access hospital or disability appointments which are NOT flexible with employment needs. I had about 7 visits to audiology last summer cos 2 hearing aids broke at once and then 5 loaner aids also died on me before we could get funding secured for replacements #BAHAUser… My current boss was sensible, but I’ve had management before who would have made a big fuss about it or assumed no one could possibly have a cluster of hearing aid failures like this…

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