Do reasonable adjustments extend to continuation of higher salary?

7th September 2016

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) recently discussed in the case of G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd v Powell, if a disabled employee should be continued to pay a higher salary when moved to a lesser role for the purposes of making reasonable adjustments.

The employee in this case, was moved to a lesser skilled role with his pay initially being protected at same rate as the higher skilled job. The employer considered reducing the claimants pay by around 10% and dismissed the employee when he refused the pay cut.

The Employment Tribunal (ET) found that the employer had been unfair and discriminated in dismissing the employee and that the claimants’ former pay should have been maintained to his new role.

The EAT upheld the decision of the ET and stated that the employer should not have continued the new arrangement at the higher rate of pay with the expectations of the claimant for it to be long term. The EAT also made clear that the respondents reasons for not paying the claimant the higher rate, due to the discontent from other employees, was not an attractive reason and therefore the ET was right in dismissing the claim.

Although not definitive, the case gives both employers and employees clear guidance on the extent to which reasonable adjustments can extend to pay.