Employment Law – Disability Discrimination – Eviction – Knowledge of Disability


There has been a recent decision by the House of Lords relating to discrimination on the grounds of disability. The decision in the case of Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm [2008] has overruled the Court of Appeal's decision in Clark v TDG Ltd t/a Novacold, which has led to potentially major alterations to the law on disability-related discrimination.

The House of Lordsdecision is likely to have notable implications for employment cases under Part I of the DDA Even though the case, even though the case fell under Part II of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (“the Act”) which  concerns a housing authority's decision to evict a schizophrenic tenant that had unlawfully sublet his flat.

It was held that there was no evidence that the local authority was made aware that the tenant suffered from schizophrenia. Furthermore, there was no evidence that the local authority had his condition in its mind when deciding to serve the eviction notice and to initiate possession proceedings against him.

The court was of the opinion that it was not enough for the tenant to show that, objectively, there may have been a causal connection unknown to the local authority between the sublet and the tenant’s disability.

The tenant needed to show that his mental condition played some motivating part in the local authority’s decision to terminate his tenancy and to recover possession of the flat. The court held that this was not the case. The local authority’s reason for the tenant’s eviction was the subletting of his flat.

If you require further information please contact us at enquiries@rtcoopers.com or Visit http://www.rtcoopers.com/practice_employment.php

© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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