Campaigners have warned that employers who refuse to make
adjustments for disabled employees are at risk of being prosecuted
under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 after a landmark court
ruling last week.
The Court of Appeal found that teacher Gaynor Meikle was
constructively dismissed by Nottinghamshire Council. She resigned
when her employer did not make adjustments for her at work after
her sight deteriorated.
The Disability Rights Commission said that the ruling – which comes
just one week after the Law Lords ruled that employers had a duty
to make reasonable adjustments (news, page 7, 8 July) – set the
precedent that constructive dismissal was covered by the act.
Meikle worked at Gedling School in Nottingham for 11 years before
her vision deteriorated in 1993. She said she had asked her
employers to provide enlarged writing materials and to allow her to
take on extra non-teaching hours for marking and class preparation.
These changes were not agreed and she was forced to resign in May
A council spokesperson said it was reviewing its practice in light
of the judgement.