Editor's message: Disabled people are protected in the workplace against direct and indirect disability discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of their disability. Disability discrimination legislation covers actual and prospective employees, and ex-employees.
An important and unique feature of disability discrimination law is the duty to make reasonable adjustments. One of the situations in which the duty is triggered is where an employer applies a provision, criterion or practice that subjects a disabled person to a substantial disadvantage. Under the duty, employers must take reasonable steps to remove that disadvantage. You may do this by, for example, allocating some of the disabled person's duties to another person, changing his or her hours or place of work, or modifying disciplinary or grievance procedures. A failure to comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments may constitute disability discrimination.
There is no qualifying period of employment for an individual to bring a claim of disability discrimination to an employment tribunal and no ceiling on the amount of compensation that can be awarded if a claim is successful.
Ellie Gelder, employment law editor
Updated to include information on Herry v Dudley Metropolitan Council, in which the EAT considered stress as a mental impairment, and Home Office (UK Visas & Immigration) v Kuranchie, which deals with reasonable adjustments.
Proposed changes by the Conservatives could see people with shorter-term mental health issues protected by disability discrimination laws.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that a requirement for a job applicant with Asperger's syndrome to complete an online multiple-choice psychometric test was indirectly discriminatory. The EAT also upheld claims for discrimination arising from disability and failure to make reasonable adjustments.
The disability discrimination section of the Employment law manual has been updated to include information on cases relating to the definition of disability, harassment and discrimination arising from disability.
In City of York Council v Grosset EAT/0015/16, the EAT upheld a tribunal's decision that the dismissal of a teacher who showed an 18-rated film to a class of vulnerable 15- and 16-year-olds amounted to discrimination because of something arising from his disability under s.15 of the Equality Act 2010. The evidence available to the tribunal enabled a permissible conclusion that the misconduct arose in consequence of disability, and that dismissal was not objectively justified.
Chris Cook is a partner and Keely Rushmore is a senior associate at SA Law. They round up the latest rulings.
The Court of Appeal has held that an employer's decision to disregard new medical evidence and dismiss an employee on long-term sickness absence amounted to discrimination arising from disability and unfair dismissal.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that an employee could not claim for harassment on the ground of disability where he had not proved, but merely asserted, that he has a disability.
We discuss the key employment law trends and changes that are affecting the HR landscape, including: gender pay gap reporting; the Trade Union Act 2016; public-sector exit payments and employment status.
In this week's podcast, we explore the steps that you can take to reduce the risk of having an indirectly discriminatory provision, criterion or practice. We also discuss what to take into account when deciding whether or not indirect discrimination can be justified.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to disability discrimination.