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7 August 2019 | Comment | Article by Louise Price

Court rules that reliance on occupational health reports is not rubber stamping exercise

Kelly v Royal Mail Group Ltd

In this case, a claimant with a poor attendance record was dismissed after triggering the final stage of his employer’s attendance policy when he was undergoing surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome.

The claimant brought a number of claims including discrimination arising from disability. The tribunal dismissed his claim on the basis that the employer did not have actual or constructive knowledge of his disability.

The claimant appealed to the EAT (Employment Appeal Tribunal). One of the grounds of his appeal was that the tribunal erred in finding that the employer had properly considered the question of disability when it had simply relied on the occupational health reports.

The EAT dismissed his appeal and held that where occupational health reports consider the question of disability in detail, and where there is an absence of any other evidence (including evidence from the employee and his representative), reliance on them will not be considered a rubber-stamping exercise.

Author bio

Louise Price


A highly specialised lawyer, Louise is a Partner and Head of Employment and HR services. Her expertise includes corporate support work, TUPE, pensions and employee benefits advice. She regularly advises private, public and third sector clients regarding large scale TUPE transfers of staff including drafting indemnities and warranties, advising on potential employment and pension liabilities, information and consultation obligations, and providing best value guidance.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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