Comments are closed. This week’s case round-upEmployer can be held liable for acts of contractors Ree v Redrow Homes (Yorkshire) Limited, EAT, EAT/0035/03 n In this decision, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) decided that anemployer could be held liable for disability discrimination arising from theacts of third parties, in the same way that it could for sex and racediscrimination. Ree, an apprentice bricklayer, was dyslexic. He brought a complaint ofdisability discrimination against his employer, claiming he had been subjectedto bullying at work. The company accepted Ree was a disabled person, but argued that under theprovisions of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), it could not be heldresponsible for any bullying carried out by contract workers on site who werenot its employees. The tribunal agreed and dismissed Ree’s complaints. Ree appealed, arguing that the principles of liability for sex and racediscrimination (established in Burton v De Vere Hotels Limited,1996, IRLR 596)should also apply to disability discrimination, namely that the employer isresponsible for acts of discrimination that were sufficiently under its controlto have prevented them. The appeal was allowed. While the definition of discrimination under the DDA differs from that inthe Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act, the EAT adopted a purposiveapproach to the legislation. It concluded that disabled individuals should have protection fromharassment by third parties in line with the principles established in race andsex discrimination. The EAT acknowledged that in allowing the claim to proceed, it was pushingthe legal boundaries. For this reason, it gave leave for the parties to appealto the Court of Appeal. Incontinence was a disability Kirton v Tetrosyl Limited, CA,  All ER(D) 190 The Court of Appeal held that an employee, who was left partiallyincontinent following surgery to treat prostate cancer, was disabled within theDisability Discrimination Act (DDA) as a result of a progressive condition. Kirton suffered urinary incontinence as a direct result of an operation heunderwent following a diagnosis of prostate cancer. In his complaint ofdisability discrimination, Kirton argued that his impairment resulted from aprogressive condition and was therefore a disability under the DDA. Both the tribunal and the EAT held that Kirton was not disabled as a resultof a progressive condition, because his impairment (incontinence) resulted fromthe surgery and not the progressive condition itself (cancer). Kirton’s appeal to the Court of Appeal was upheld on the basis that to holdthat his impairment was not the result of his prostate cancer was to apply anoverly limited interpretation of the legislation. The DDA was intended toprotect disabled people who had progressive conditions from the moment symptomsfirst appeared. Kirton’s incontinence was sufficiently linked to the cancer toresult from it, notwithstanding the intervening act of surgery. Case round-upOn 13 May 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.