The case of O'Hanlon v HMRC resolves the confusion over whether disabled employees are entitled to more sick pay than their non-disabled colleagues.   Mrs O'Hanlon argued that she was off sick from work as a result of her disability and was therefore substantially disadvantaged.  She claimed that her employers should make the "reasonable adjustment" of paying her full pay when absent, rather than the rather smaller sum that she was entitled to under standard HMRC policy.
 
While the EAT did not rule out the possibility of a disabled person receiving more sick pay they say that it would be a "very rare case indeed" where it was appropriate.  The EAT said that there was a very strong economic case for not giving disabled employees full pay when off work sick and went on to state that the purpose of the Disability Discrimination Act is "to recognise the dignity of the disabled and to require modifications which will enable them to play full part in the world of work ... it is not to treat them as objects of charity."
 
Following this decision, it will now be extremely difficult for a disabled employee to claim a higher rate of sick pay than non-disabled employees, unless the employer itself caused the disabled employee to become sick (and therefore be absent) by failing to make other necessary reasonable adjustments under the DDA.

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