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Wednesday, 13 September, 2023

Employment & Pensions Blog: Reasonable adjustments for job applicants – Lexology

In AECOM v Mallon, the EAT has held an employer does not need to know the specifics of a disabled person’s substantial disadvantage in order to make reasonable adjustments.


Mallon was employed by AECOM until December 2017, when he was dismissed during his probation due to unsatisfactory performance. In August 2018, Mr Mallon wanted to apply for another role with AECOM which required him to create an online profile. Mallon emailed AECOM, with information about his dyspraxia and asked if he could make an oral application due to his disability. The HR manager repeated that he needed to complete the online form. Mallon brought a claim of disability discrimination for failure to make reasonable adjustments to the job application process. Mallon contended that AECOM applied a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) by requiring submission of an online application form, which put him at a substantial disadvantage.

The proceedings

The ET upheld Mallon’s claim, rejecting AECOM’s argument that Mr Mallon was not genuinely applying for the 2018 role. AECOM were held to have applied a two-part PCP which put the Claimant at a substantial disadvantage. It was enough that AECOM knew the Claimant had dyspraxia to make reasonable adjustments, even if they did not know the specifics as to how his disability put him at a disadvantage. AECOM appealed which was unsuccessful in the EAT save in relation to one point arising from a misunderstanding of the evidence which was remitted to the same Tribunal.

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