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Equality Act and Reasonable adjustments

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Hi All,


I've recently had an issue at work, and was wondering whether anyone could help me with it. I am going to take advice from other sources also. I have been employed less than two years.


I have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (diarrhoea predominant) for a little over 4 years (and have had symptoms longer than that). I am currently going through investigations to determine the exact cause or alternative diagnosis for my symptoms. Day to day i'm on medication, and the current medication is working well, however I still occasionally have flare ups. These flareups can occur over hours or days, or occur almost instantly. Symptoms that occur are sometimes very difficult to differentiate between normal IBS and potentially any diarrhoea/sickness bugs (besides no vomiting) also - which means sometimes I have had 48 hours symptom free before I begin work again to prevent passing anything on to the public. I declared all of my previous medical history on application.


I was recently called into a meeting with management because of my sickness and absence record. I have had a total of 6 absences in the last 12 months, totalling ~8-10 working days. The majority of those absences have been related to my condition. I have previously been referred to occupational health, and the situation is going to be reviewed in 6 months. If I have any more sickness in this time I will have this review meeting instantly and I believe it will also involve HR.


So far I have let them follow the standard procedure, however (apart from sending me to occupational health), they seem to have not made any reasonable adjustments to allow for my condition - I will add details from the previous occupational health visit later today.


  1. Am I covered under the Equality Act? Previously I didn't consider myself to have a disability (I just got on with life, and my previous employer never had an issue with a similar sickness rate), however having read a bit more into it, it appears I may qualify under the terms that are used.
  2. Would a reasonable adjustment in this case be to allow me a "reasonably" higher number of absences to account for my condition? In the past 12 months I have had 6 total absences, not a massively high amount, but the fact they will review me immediately if I have any more sickness in the next 6 months is making me concerned.


Thanks for everyones help in this matter.



Edited by AjPearce
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1. probably, only a judge can say for sue but seems likely

2. higher absences would be common, if reccomended by occ health - however you shuld be aware that one ever two months is a HUGE AMOUNT and not the handful you seem to think it is

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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