Employment law Associate, David Sheppard, looks at a recent ruling by an Employment Appeal Tribunal and what this could mean for type 2 diabetes as a disability classification.

'This is an interesting case. The judgment confirms that a condition does not need to have an adverse effect at the relevant time to amount to a disability - if it is likely to progress in the future. 

With the significant rise of type 2 diabetes, particularly in Wales (almost 270,000 people have diabetes in Wales, 90% of which have type 2, according to Diabetes UK), this ruling is one that employers should take note of. 

The health of many type 2 diabetics - given the nature of the condition - could be considered 'likely' to decline (leading to disability), even though their condition does not have a disabling effect at the moment. 

This means that many employers across the country could be employing - and will continue to employ - people who are technically disabled (and therefore have protection under the Equality Act), without realising it. This leaves them at risk of inadvertantly committing unlawful discrimination - and facing a lawsuit. 

It will be interesting to see what new cases this ruling may inform, and how employees and employers alike are affected.