Hainsworth –v- Ministry of Defence: The Extent of Reasonable Adjustments

The recent case of Hainsworth -v- Ministry of Defence has confirmed that an employer is not under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for a non-disabled employee who cares for a disabled child.  In that case the mother of a disabled child requested a change to her place of work.  This request was rejected and she claimed that due to her daughter’s disability the MoD should have allowed her to work from a different base as a ‘reasonable adjustment’ under the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.  

The Court of Appeal found that the duty to make reasonable adjustments did not apply where a job applicant or employee was associated with a disabled person.  However, when presented with this type of situation (for example a family member caring for a disabled relative who requests changes to their work pattern or location to look after them) employers need to be aware that this will now be covered under the new flexible working provisions.  

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article or any other employment query, please contact Gareth Roberts on 0161 833 8402 or any member of the Employment team.