Assessing whether an employee is considered disabled

The recent case of Donelien v Liberata UK Ltd confirms that employers must demonstrate they have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to establish whether they consider an employee is disabled.

This means that it is not necessary to explore every conceivable avenue to avoid having constructive knowledge of disability. However, the case emphasises that it will not suffice to simply accept a medical professional’s opinion without more information.

In this case, the Claimant was dismissed after a high number of short term absences and failure to comply with the employer’s sickness absence process. The Claimant had been uncooperative throughout. She argued that that employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments.

Read the full article on our website dedicated to employment law »

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.


Employment law moves at a fast pace. Keeping up to date with changes and developments is a challenge for every HR professional, helps you keep ahead of the game, plan for change and provides tools for solving those workplace dilemmas.


Andrew Chamberlain

Partner - Head of Employment & Chair of the SDE

I am a Partner, the National Head of the Employment Team and the Chair of the Service Delivery Executive (SDE), which is focused on building better solutions for clients.