02 September 2016 #Employment
The EAT has recently held that protecting a disabled employee’s pay following his move to a lower paid role was a reasonable adjustment.
In G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd v Powell, the employer had enforced a 10% pay reduction (£207 per month gross) when a disabled employee had moved to a lower skilled role. The EAT said that it could see ‘no reason in principle’ why the legislation should be read as excluding any requirement upon an employer to protect an employee’s pay in conjunction with other measures to counter the employee’s disadvantage through disability. It said that ultimately, the question will always be whether it is reasonable for the employer to take that step.
However, it gave some hope to employer’s faced with costly pay protection arrangements by stating that it did not expect that it would be an “everyday event” but simply that there may be cases where it is reasonable as part of a package of reasonable adjustments to get an employee back to work or keep an employee in work.
This case demonstrates that employers should be cautious about dismissing an adjustment as unreasonable based on cost alone. Particularly for larger employers, this is likely to be challenged.
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