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Roberts v North West Ambulance Service - No requirement that PCP be specifically applied to disabled person [2012] EAT

In disability discrimination reasonable adjustments cases, the primary question is whether a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) was applied by the employer that placed the disabled person at a substantial disadvantage - if so, the duty to make reasonable adjustments is triggered. There is no requirement that the PCP actually be applied to the disabled person, and substantial disadvantage may still be caused even if the disabled person has been specifically exempted from it.  

Mr Roberts, a disabled person due to a social anxiety disorder, worked as a dispatcher for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS). Standard practice was that dispatchers "hot-desked", sitting at any desk that was available in the control room, as they came on and off overlapping shifts. However Mr Roberts concluded that certain locations exacerbated his condition, and asked to always sit at a specific desk. It was not always available; NWAS said they would put "reserved" on it but never did, and sometimes supervisors asked people to move, but it proved impractical given the number of staff and shift patterns to keep one desk reserved.

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