What are normal day-to-day activities?

06 April 2016

A person is disabled, in employment law terms, where they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial, long-term, adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. But what counts as normal day-to-day activities?

Banaszczyk v Booker Limited

A person is disabled, in employment law terms, where they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial, long-term, adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. But what counts as normal day-to-day activities?

Mr Banaszczyk worked in a distribution centre, where he lifted and moved cases weighing up to 25kg. After injuring his back in a car accident, he couldn’t meet the employer’s ‘pick rate’ targets. He was dismissed for capability and went on to claim unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.

A dispute over whether or not Mr Banaszczyk was disabled centred on whether the heavy, manual handling work that he had become unable to do could be considered to be normal day-to-day activities. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that it could. Lots of people are employed to do that sort of work. As Mr Banaszczyk was slower than his colleagues in carrying out that normal day-to-day activity, his condition was held to have the requisite effect. He was disabled.


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