Author: Karolina Sundqvist
The Swedish Labour Court ruled that the dismissal of an employee at the Police Authority with multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease, who did not have the ability to perform work of any significance to the employer, was based on objective grounds. The Labour Court also ruled that the dismissal did not constitute discrimination.
An employee, diagnosed with MS since she was young, had worked at the fraud unit at the Swedish Police Authority as an administrator for 18 years. In 2017, her condition got worse and in 2020, the Police Authority dismissed her on the grounds that she was not able to perform work of any significance to them. The employee claimed that the Police Authority had not taken their responsibility regarding rehabilitation, adaption, and measures for accessibility. She also claimed that her ability to perform work was not permanently reduced and that the dismissal therefore was not based on legal grounds. Moreover, she claimed that the Police Authority had violated the Discrimination Act, either through direct discrimination since they dismissed her because of her MS, or through lack of accessibility.
The Labour Court held that the Police Authority had taken all the necessary measures they could take to make it easier for her at work without reorganising their organisation in an unreasonable way. Hence, they had not violated the Discrimination Act through lack of accessibility. Neither had the dismissal been directly discriminatory against her. As she could no longer perform work that was of any significance to the employer, the Labour Court ruled that the dismissal was based on objective grounds and therefore lawful.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
The dismissal of an employee with a disability can be considered as being based on objective grounds and non-discriminatory, if the employer has taken necessary measures to make the employee’s work situation easier and the employee is not able to perform work of any significance to the employer.