Case Law Update

Brexit has opened up the possibility of the UK Courts departing from decisions of the European Court of Justice. Nevertheless, such judgments still set important principles and precedents.  In VL (C16/19) the Court has confirmed that it is possible to discriminate against one group of disabled workers compared with another group of disabled workers.

The basic understanding for most employers of disability law is that disability discrimination applies where a disabled person (within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010) is treated less favourably than someone without a disability, for a reason relating to their disability.  

The facts of the case relate to financial provisions in Polish healthcare and are (frankly) too dull and intricate to report, however essentially the Court found that disability discrimination could still occur where some workers (because of the nature of their disabilities) were discriminated against in comparison with other disabled workers.  This is confirmation of the wide concept of disability discrimination and that disabled workers can cite other workers with disabilities as comparators, not just those who do not have a disability.