The Appeal tribunal has made a ruling that progressive conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, which do not have a substantial adverse impact on the employee at the time the matter is tried, but which may develop to an extent that they do have such an impact, ARE disabilities, or at least they can be.
The case is Taylor v Ladbrooks Betting and Gaming Ltd and concerned an employee who was dismissed. The employee had type 2 diabetes which was controlled by medication and lifestyle changes. The employee said that this was a disability.
It is worth remembering, that when assessing whether a condition has a substantial adverse effect on the employee, the condition should be looked at as it would be if there were no medication being taken.
In this case, the Appeal tribunal ruled that, the question is whether the condition will progress to be an impairment, NOT what might happen to a substantial proportion of the population.
Employers are therefore cautioned to examine conditions carefully in trying to decide whether a condition is a disability. Ask what it would be like without medication, and ask what it is likely to develop into.
The case can be read at the following link: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2016/0353_15_1612.html