Disability Discrimination Compensation Claims - Prolegal

Disability Discrimination Compensation Claims

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It is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of a physical or mental disability or to fail to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a worker with a disability.

The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. The condition has to have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 months and must affect the person’s home life as well as their ability to work. Day to day activities include things such as driving or taking public transport, household chores, cooking, dressing or taking part in social activities. Mental health conditions that reduce a person’s motivation for day to day activities are also included.

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against disabled workers in the context of:

  • application forms
  • interview arrangements
  • aptitude or proficiency tests
  • job offers
  • terms of employment including pay
  • promotion, transfer and training opportunities
  • work-related benefits such as access to recreation or refreshment facilities
  • dismissal or redundancy
  • discipline and grievances

The law also protects workers from direct discrimination or harassment because of the disability of a family member, friend or other person with whom they associate.

Disability discrimination can appear in many forms. However, not all forms of disability discrimination can be obvious and as such the law provides protection in the following ways. An employer must not:

  • Treat a disabled person less favourably because the person has a disability (or their association with a disabled person). This is known as “direct discrimination”.
  • Have procedures, policies or practices which, although applicable to all workers, disadvantage those people with a disability, unless these can be justified.
  • Treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of their disability, unless this can be justified. This covers things such as medical appointments, sick leave or a need to make adjustments.
  • Treat an employee in a way that is intimidating, humiliating, degrading or offensive because of their disability (or their association with a disabled person). This is known as harassment.
  • Treat a person less favourably because they bring a complaint about disability discrimination or ask for reasonable adjustments.

The employer of a disabled worker also has a duty to make “reasonable adjustments” for that disabled worker so that they are not put at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to other able-bodied workers. Some ways in which the employer could accommodate this would be to:

  • Allocate some work to someone else such as a colleague.
  • Make adjustments to the buildings, such as providing ramps.
  • Being flexible about hours to allow attendance at medical appointments
  • Provide training or retraining and transfer the worker to another job role if they cannot do their current job any longer.
  • Modify equipment in order to make it more easily usable.
  • Make instructions and manuals more accessible
  • Provide a reader, interpreter or support worker

If you feel you have been discriminated against due to a disability then you might be able to take action against your employer. Your employer needs to know that you have the disability or at least have enough information about your health condition that they should realistically know that you are disabled.

A disability discrimination claim must be brought within 3 months of the discrimination occurring so if you feel you have been the victim of discrimination then please do not hesitate in seeking confidential advice from our experienced team of solicitors today.

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