Disability Discrimination

Practical advice

The disability discrimination laws make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against disabled people. They also apply to all parts of the employment relationship, including recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, dismissals and training.

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful for an employer to:

  • Treat a job applicant or employee less favourably than others because of disability.
  • Treat a job applicant or employee unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of disability without an objective reason.
  • Apply a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) that disadvantages job applicants or employees of a shared disability without objective reason.
  • Subject a job applicant or employee to harassment related to their disability.
  • Ask job applicants pre-employment health questions other than for an allowed reason.
  • Victimise a job applicant or employee because they have made or intend to make a disability discrimination complaint, or because they have taken action or intend to take action in connection with the Equality Act.
  • Fail to comply with its duty to make reasonable adjustments where a disabled job applicant or employee is placed at a substantial disadvantage.

All businesses, whatever their size, are covered by the Act.

If you feel you have been treated less favourably for a reason related to your disability without justification, then you may have a claim.

Employers are under an obligation to make 'reasonable adjustments' to work arrangements, the working environment and recruitment procedures to accommodate disabled people. Recommended 'adjustments' are numerous and include acquiring or modifying equipment, offering flexible working hours, time for rehabilitation or counselling, providing supervision etc.

Who is liable?

If an employee discriminates against or harasses another employee, the employer will be liable unless it has taken reasonable steps to prevent such conduct from happening. The offending employee may also be liable.

Burden of Proof

It is initially up to the Claimant to prove they have been discriminated against.

Time Limits

A discrimination claim must normally be made to an employment tribunal before "the end of the period of three months starting with the date of the act to which the complaint relates" However:

  • Acts occurring more than three months before the claim is brought may still form the basis of the claim if they are part of "conduct extending over a period", and the claim is brought within three months of the end of that period.
  • Time can be extended by such a period as the tribunal thinks just and equitable.

What if your claim is successful?

If you are successful, the Tribunal may make one or more of the following orders:

  • A declaration of the rights of the parties.
  • An order that the employer pay you compensation.
  • A recommendation as to what steps the employer should take to reduce the adverse effect of the discrimination on yourself or another employee.

For an assessment of your situation please complete and submit our questionnaire by clicking here. We will respond within 5 working days.

Tel: 0845 293 2729 . Email us . The Foundry, Euston Way, Telford, Shropshire TF3 4LY