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Greenwood v British Airways

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Last updated 1999.

Employment Appeal Tribunal, 1999. Full judgment: bailii.org.

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 to other areas. Due to being refused this promotion, his condition reoccured.

Held by the Employment Appeal Tribunal: as to whether there was a disability at the time of the discrimination, the tribunal had erred in not taking account of facts after as well as before the discrimination (para B8 of the guidance), so the reoccurence could be taken into account. The employer’s state of knowledge is immaterial. In any event because he actually had a substantial subsequent recurrence he had a “past disability” under section 2 and so he was “disabled” (see Schedule 2 para 5(2)) .

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