Is Type 2 Diabetes automatically a disability?

Not according to the EAT decision in Metroline Travel v Stoute [2015].


Type 2 Diabetes, is the less serious type, which can be controlled by managing one’s diet, weight and level of physical activity.

The EAT has held it does not automatically amount to a disability on the basis that a condition that can be controlled by minor alterations of diet is not automatically a long-term condition restricting an individual’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

The EAT went on to criticise the Tribunal for its initial finding, which was that the Claimant’s abstention from a high fat and sugar diet, automatically constituted a substantial adverse effect on day-to-day activities and so resulted in him automatically being classed as having a “disability” within the definition of s.6 of the Equality Act 2010.

The EAT considered the finding perverse as it would mean that other individuals who have conditions which can be controlled with a minor alteration of diet, such as nut allergies, lactose intolerance would also automatically be regarded as disabled.