The EAT considered the employee’s argument that type 2 diabetes should be treated as a progressive condition and therefore deemed to be a disability under the Equality Act 2010.
To assess whether it was a progressive condition, the correct question was whether the condition was likely to result in a substantial adverse effect on normal day-to-day activities. Even if there was a small possibility of the employee’s condition deteriorating in the future, that is sufficient to make it ‘likely’ and may result in the employee having a disability.
It should not be assumed that type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition under the Equality Act; indeed neither type 1 nor type 2 diabetes are given as examples of a progressive condition in the Guidance.
The EAT did not explore the extent to which the individual’s control over their lifestyle should be taken into account when assessing the long term effect of a condition.