You can’t stay still for very long around here – you stand round waiting for some European caselaw and two come along at once. We now have a widely reported decision on whether or not the unique feature of disability discrimination, that it only protects the disabled, as expounded by me just the other day, complies with the Equal Treatment Directive. It doesn’t of course – and associated discrimination, in this case against a non-disabled employee who had caring obligations to a disabled person, is also verboten. Once this is confirmed by the ECJ, it will mean new legislation. Obligations to make allowances for caring for vulnerable adults will coincide with the gradual extension of the right to flexible working applications, and many small employers will (rightly or otherwise) feel constrained in the way they staff their businesses.
The ruling doesn’t go so far as to say that disability discrimination need be so broad as the other forms by making, for example, the existence of any disability in anyone irrelevant to a finding of discrimination. Instead it simply says that association with a disabled person is enough to fall within the ambit of the directive.
Oh, and having originally planned after the last one never to read an AG’s opinion ever again, this one isn’t actually all that bad. I’d still find a hobby instead though if I were you.