Security firm fails to make “reasonable adjustments” for employee’s disability

Security firm fails to make “reasonable adjustments” for employee’s disability

An employment tribunal decision has highlighted the importance of making reasonable adjustments for disability after the court ruled that a diabetic was unfairly dismissed.

The tribunal heard how Keith Crossland, a security guard working for Chamberlains Security, suffered a hypoglycemic attack while patrolling a remote reservoir by himself.

Mr Crossland – who had passed out in his car – was woken by a loud knock on the car window and walked “unstably” towards the six-foot entry gate which could not be unlocked from the outside.

One of Chamberlains Security’s directors, Richard Trevivian, was alerted to the incident after another security guard failed to gain access to the site. The guard said Mr Crossland was disorientated and he could not catch his attention.

An ambulance was called and Mr Crossland was taken to hospital. Mr Trevivian was later told of Mr Crossland’s hypoglycemic attack which was the first time he was made aware of his condition.

Mr Trevivian subsequently made a risk assessment using information gathered online, and concluded that reasonable adjustments were not realistic and the reservoir site he was patrolling could not be made safer.

He told Mr Crossland that he would offer him alternative work where more than one security officer would be available, should he need medical assistance.

No work was available in the weeks after, and Mr Crossland requested a P45 so that he could sign on to jobseekers benefits. But on 11 November 2014, Mr Crossland filed a grievance against his employer for failing to make reasonable adjustments.

The Judge agreed, allowing the claims for failure to make property adjustments, disability discrimination and victimisation.

Judge Pirani said the duty was on the employer and not the employee to make reasonable adjustments for disability.

He added that Mr Trevivian should have gone into more depth into his risk assessment, rather than rely on internet research.