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SKU: 7.22
  • Advice

    What is disability discrimination?

    Disability discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than another in the workplace because of their physical or mental disability. For example, they may suffer from a mental impairment and their employer refuses to pay them while they take time off to attend a medical appointment (including counselling). Out of fairness to your employer, we would suggest trying to book appointments outside working hours.


    The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination against employees due to a mental or physical disability. Under the legislation, a person is considered disabled if she/he has a long-term impairment affecting their capability to perform daily activities in the workplace such as using a telephone or a computer, communicating with colleagues, understanding instructions, or carrying heavy items. Disability discrimination can occur in many ways, such as when an employee with a mobility impairment has been refused a parking space close to the office, even if there is available space.


    How does disability discrimination happen?

    You may feel discriminated against for your disability when someone harasses you due to a recognised mental or physical condition and, as a result of that, you feel humiliated or stressed. You are also discriminated against when you are treated unfairly because you complained or have supported a complaint about disability discrimination.


    How can the issue be prevented?

    The Employer must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the workplace. This means that the employer should, within reason:

    • Ensure that the building is equipped for your disability;
    • Provide the necessary equipment to assist you while working; or
    • Re-locate you to a more adequate workplace or re-arrange your working schedule if necessary.


    If you have a paid job or are about to start/return to one, your employer may be eligible for the “Access to Work grant’ which will financially support the adjustments in your workplace that are not covered by your Employer. There is an element of fairness involved, for instance, a new start-up firm with limited funds could not be expected to send thousands of pounds putting in lifts etc.


    Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

    The employer must provide the staff with the appropriate and up to date Health and Safety Training and PPE (personal protective equipment). Some job roles require the employee not to be mentally or physically impaired. For example, if a job role requires you to carry a weight that you are unable to carry due to your physical impairment, then that would not be considered discriminatory.


    How to claim disability discrimination

    To be supplied with the abovementioned workplace adjustments, it is always better to informally talk to your manager and if that does not work, the best thing to do would be to write a formal complaint to the HR department, following this you could instruct us to contact the employer to work out a solution or potentially pursue the employer for discrimination via an employment tribunal.


    How we can help

    We would be delighted to act on your behalf to negotiate whether there has, in our experts opinion, been any discrimination made against you or your employment application, To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.


    Your legal team will carefully examine the employers policies/procedures on the matter and if there is an identified issue, we would seek to assist you in bringing about a fair solution by mediating between yourself and your employer. If a solution cannot be found then we would support you in lodging a claim via an employment tribunal. You should be conscious of the strict time constraints as discrimination claims must be brought to an Employment Tribunal within three months of the alleged discriminatory act. We do tend to find that employers tend to be significantly more responsive when you have taken steps to obtain professional legal advice.

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