In the recent case of Metroline Travel Ltd v Stoute, Mr Stoute was dismissed for gross misconduct and claimed that he had suffered disability discrimination as a result of his type 2 diabetes.

At first hearing, the employment tribunal decided that Mr Stoute was disabled, as he took medication to reduce his blood sugar levels and avoided sugary drinks.  Despite this he lost his claim at a second full hearing on the facts.  

Despite winning, Metroline Travel appealed the disability decision as they had a number of other staff with type 2 diabetes and didn’t wish a precedent to be set.  The employment appeal tribunal decided that an employee’s type 2 diabetes did not amount to a disability, as a diet consisting of abstaining from sugary drinks did not have a substantial adverse effect on the Mr Stoute’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities, as required by the Equality Act 2010, nor that type 2 diabetes would necessarily amount to a disability in any event.

Given the enormous number of diabetics in the UK, this judgment is good news for employers.  It doesn’t however stop all diabetics from being considered as disabled.

If you receive a claim alleging disability discrimination from an employee then please contact Backhouse Solicitors for help and advice.

Tel:       01245 893400


The Backhouse Solicitors Team