AF Association
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Can AF be classed as a disability?

I have had a recent ATOS report into my PAF, which tells my employers that I should be classed as having a disability.

The company have made it clear in the past, that they are looking at my capability of continuing in my current role (also making it clear that they have no other roles for me to fill). When in NSR I have no problem performing at work but have recently had an increase in PAF and have had several shifts off.

I will be having my fourth ablation in November and obviously hope that I will be cured of this annoying thing, but would like to hear from anyone who has had a similar situation at work and what their outcome was. Also wether being classed as having a disability is in my favour?


14 Replies

hi tim. not an expert . but i think it depends on how long you bin in job ? i got sacked on the grounds of capability but i only started with the firm a year before. was having af attacks at the time


Ive worked for the company since leaving school (in its various guises) and am second longest serving at the company. This is all a worry for me as I am the sole bread winner in the family!

The company has a good history of looking after employees with health problems, but as time moves on and staff numbers deplete, I cant help feeling that I am a burden that they want out of their hair.


HI Timmo50, I can assure you that you come under the Disability Discrimination Act umbrella, the company I used to work for (I am now retired since March )wrote to their Doctor to ask if I was medicaly fit, I had an interview with him and he wrote back to the company and informed them that AF was covered by the DDA , and if need be they would have to make adjustments, this included time off all types of sickness not just AF ,( they operated the Bradford Factor ) If you look on the Govement website under the disability section I think you will find it of some use.Please try not to worry as companies always try to put pressure on you.

1 like

Hi Timmo

This is a minefield, and I recommend that you consider spending a small amount to go and see a specialist employment lawyer,

I am not one of those, but as I understand it AF would be covered by the act,

"You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities."

It can be substantial, and of course it often is long term.

However this does not stop your employer working towards getting rid of you.

They need to demonstrate that even after making "reasonable adjustments" you are still unable to work, and this is where you need a specialist lawyer, they will advise you. Having shifts off, as I understand it, is not enough to question your capability, it would need to be a fundamental change which meant you had trouble performing your job all the time.

I think you should spend £75 or so and get a free hour with a specialist, it will be money well spent I promise. (most of them do this cut price first hour)

Take care



Thats an interesting call Ian, I am one of the few in the company who still belongs to the union. So it might be worth getting some free legal advice off them.

Thanks for the comments everyone, I had the dreaded "How are you doing" phone call off HR at home this afternoon. But to be fair he sounded genuine enough.


Sounds like a good idea Timmo

As a former director of a company with over 100 employees I can assure anyone, that simply being covered by the Act is not the ultimate employment protection, it simply means that there are a number of legal hoops that the employer needs to jump through in order to deal with any situation.

Of course if you are capable of doing your job, and there are only "reasonably" acceptable changes needed to accomodate any disability, then you are somewhat safer in some ways than an average employee, but if you cannot do your job for any reason, or cannot do your job in a way that was very similar to before, then the employer can take steps to terminate the appointment through reasons of incapacity. They just have to take much more care over it, and it is likely to be a much longer process than usual.

And yes very regretfully I have had to do this as an employer, with an employee who had two disabilities, but regretably even after some really very large adjustments on our part he was unable to attend more than one or two days a week, and his role necessitated a full time position. (we even offered a shorter time contract or a job share)

Good luck, and I do suggest just getting some advice from the legal team at the Union, so you understand your position.



You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

What ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ mean

‘substantial’ is more than minor or trivial - eg it takes much longer than it usually would to complete a daily task like getting dressed

‘long-term’ means 12 months or more - eg a breathing condition that develops as a result of a lung infection

There are special rules about recurring or fluctuating conditions, for example, arthritis. For more details about the special rules download the ‘Equality Act Guidance’.

Progressive conditions

A progressive condition is a condition that gets worse over time. People with progressive conditions can be classed as disabled.

However, you automatically meet the disability definition under the Equality Act 2010 from the day you’re diagnosed with HIV infection, cancer or multiple sclerosis.

What isn’t counted as a disability

Some conditions aren’t covered by the disability definition. These include addiction to non–prescribed drugs or alcohol. To find out about the conditions which aren’t covered, download the ‘Equality Act Guidance’.

This should answer your questions I Worked with AF and lung problems and was classified under the act as disabled even though I had it under control with medicine sometimes?


Very interesting facts .do you think I should let DLA know that I have AF,poppystorey


If you are getting DLA you should inform them that you have any new condition. As this should be logged for when they review.


As I understand it Poppy they only want to know if your AF has an effect on your driving, according to a previous post. From the DVLA website: Group 1 entitlement ODL – car, motorcycle

Asymptomatic: driving may continue, DVLA need not be notified.

Symptomatic: driving must cease if an arrhythmia has caused or is likely to cause incapacity. Re/licensing may be permitted when arrhythmia is controlled and there is no other disqualifying condition.


sorry I miss read I was thinking DWP DLA not DVLA OMG :)


Oh, maybe it is! Sorry!


The Equality Commission disability discrimination guidelines specifically refers to AF in an example.

The Equality Act 2010 has strengthened disability discrimination protection. The process is highly prescriptive and deadlines apply.

Perhaps consider contacting the Disability Law Service a charity which provides free legal advise.

Other sources of help include:

Equality Advisory Support Service

Disability Law Service.

Free Representation Unit.

Bar Pro Bono Unit.

Disability Alliance.

CAB Advice Guide.

The Equality Commission.

Resources from Central London Law Centre regarding employment

I am aware of one law firm which specialises in disability cases; @AbilityThink: DSM legal solicitors no win no fee; Disability Discrimination specialism found on under topics / help.

Good luck!


"The Equality Commission disability discrimination guidelines specifically refers to AF in an example."

Have you got a link to this, Ive had a look around the net and cant locate it.



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