Is it a reasonable adjustment to provide permanent pay protection when disability means that a teacher can no longer teach?

August 13th, 2021

No, said the EAT in Aleem v E-Act Academy.

Following the long-established principle in O’Hanlon it will rarely, if ever, be a reasonable adjustment to continue permanent pay protection for a role that the employee is no longer performing. 

Ms Aleem was a science teacher who became unable to teach due to mental ill health which amounted to disability. She moved to an alternative role as a cover supervisor which attracted a lower level of pay. For a period of three months Ms Aleem’s pay was protected at the higher rate. The ET found that at all times the Respondent was at pains to point out to her that this disability pay protection was a temporary measure during the probation period for the new role.

On accepting the new role permanently E-Act Academy reduced Ms Aleem’s pay to that of a cover supervisor. The Tribunal dismissed her claim that it was a reasonable adjustments failure not to continue to provide permanent pay protection her at a teacher’s pay rate.

The EAT was clear that the higher pay for a limited period for particular reasons was quite different to the expectation that the higher pay should continue under permanent pay protection. That was a temporary reasonable adjustment. It would not be reasonable to continue the higher rate of pay. Appeal dismissed.

This blog first appeared on Daniel Barnett’s Employment Law Bulletin

Prepared by Karen Jackson, Solicitor, MD-Founder, didlaw

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