Clark v TDG Ltd

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Clark v TDG Ltd (t/a Novacold Ltd) [1999] IRLR 318 is a UK labour law case concerning the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.


Mr Clark was injured at work (a frozen food warehouse in Hull). He was then dismissed when an orthopaedic doctor said he did not know when he would be able to start again.


Mummery LJ said the DDA drew no direct/indirect discrimination distinction, and a justification defence is always available. The comparator was someone who was not disabled, and could do the work. It certainly was discrimination, but on the question of justification, no attention had been paid to the Code of Practice.


Some of the comments in this case are no longer good law. Since Directive 2000/78/EC, there has been an amendment to the Disability Discrimination Act so that a direct/indirect distinction is introduced, and the language of the Act clarified.

Lewisham LBC v Malcolm and EHRC [2008] UKHL 43, [2008] IRLR 700 expressly disapproved the decision, though Baroness Hale dissented.

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