Does abstention from coca-cola count as a substantial impairment in ordinary day to day activities?

Type 2 Diabetes, controlled by diet, is not a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. You may be wondering why (or indeed, if) this is a newsworthy point. That certainly seems to be the view of Judge Serota QC in his entertaining judgment in the case of Metroline Travel Limited v Stoute.

At a case management Preliminary Hearing in the original claim, the Claimant, Mr Stoute, argued that a person suffering from Type 2 diabetes might be at risk of suffering a hypoglycaemic attack if blood sugar levels were not properly managed. Consequently, the fact of managing the blood sugar levels by way of a diabetic diet (one avoiding sugary foods and drinks) amounted to treatment of that medical condition.

The Tribunal judge was persuaded by these arguments. He concluded that, following the statutory guidance on the definition of a disability, a person with Type 2 diabetes would be disabled, as without treatment (in the form of the controlled diet), the illness would be likely to have a substantial adverse effect on the person’s day to day activities.

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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.