McNicol v Balfour Beatty Rail Maintenance

Court of Appeal, 2002. Full judgment: Two appeals (the McNicol case and Rugamer v Sony Music Entertainment) raised issues of the application of the “physical or mental impairment” test to functional or psychological “overlay”, where a person claims to be suffering from physical injury but the doctor is satisfied that his or her symptoms … Read more

A v Walkers Snack Foods Ltd

Employment Tribunal, Case no. 2500138/00, 4344/115, December 2001. Facts The employee was a packaging technician. These technicians were responsible for overseeing the running of machines on the packaging line, and for arranging for an engineer to be called in if a fault occurred. The employee had a stammer and claimed he was subject to “harassment, … Read more

De Keyser Ltd v Wilson

In this case the EAT sets out important guidelines on expert evidence in employment tribunal cases. Employment Appeal Tribunal, 2001. The EAT’s judgment is available in full on the EAT website at The guidelines are at paragraph 36 ( of the judgment. For example, the EAT comments that expert evidence will not always be … Read more

Phelps v Hillingdon Council

House of Lords, 2000. Full judgment: The case of Phelps v Hillingdon Council involved a child had dyslexia. An educational psychologist failed to diagnose the dyslexia. Accordingly the child was not given education appropriate to her condition. The House of Lords upheld a decision that the educational psychologist owed a duty of care to … Read more

A v London Borough of Hounslow

Employment Appeal Tribunal, 11.7.01 (1155/98). Full judgment: The applicant was offered a job as a physics/information technology technician in a school, subject to a medical report, However, he was found to have a history of schizophrenia and was asked to leave. The school argued that its actions were justified for safety reasons. The employment … Read more

Newham Citizens Advice Bureau v Murray

Employment Appeal Tribunal, 2000. Full decision: The applicant was turned down from becoming a trainee voluntary adviser with the citizens advice bureau (CAB), allegedly for certain mental health reasons. The employment tribunal decided that the applicant would not be an “employee” or a person who “contracts personally to do work” so as to fall … Read more

AE Proctor Ltd v Hutton

Employment Appeal Tribunal, 18.12.00, 1319/99. Full judgment: An employee was dismissed allegedly due to his dyslexia. The employment tribunal found that his dyslexia did not have the required substantial effect and so was not a disability. The tribunal commented amongst other things that he knew how to use a spell check and he now … Read more

James v Eastleigh Borough Council

House of Lords, 1990. Full judgment: The Council provided free swimming facilities for old age pensioners. At the time this meant the qualifying age was 65 for men and 60 for women. The House of Lords held this was sex discrimination, regardless of motive. The test was objective. ‘But for’ his gender, a man … Read more

Vicary v British Telecommunications plc

Employment Appeal Tribunal, 1999. Full judgment: A woman had a disability relating to the use of her right arm and hand, and suffered pain doing various tasks. The employment tribunal held that she did not have a disability as it did not have a “substantial” effect. For example, the employment tribunal had said that … Read more

Greenwood v British Airways

Employment Appeal Tribunal, 1999. Full judgment: Since 1993 the applicant had suffered from the clinically well recognised illness of depression, but seemed to have recovered completely. Nonetheless he was turned down for promotion, and was told that his was because he was seen as unreliable due to his previous sickness and non-cooperation in moving … Read more