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. Employer 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
What were the most significant employment case law decisions in 2016? Stephen Simpson counts down the 10 most important judgments for employers this year.
This employment tribunal held that a bus company's decision to dismiss a disabled employee amounted to discrimination arising from disability. The justification defence failed because the tribunal found that there were a number of other options available that would have amounted to a less discriminatory means of achieving a safe place of work.
In Appleby v The Governing Body of Colburn Community Primary School and another EAT/0334/15, the EAT upheld an employment tribunal decision that it was not a breach of disability discrimination laws to require a teacher with narcolepsy and mental health problems to be at work for 8.45am, when she had asked for 15 minutes' leeway to arrive by 9am.
A report published by the National Autistic Society has called on employers to help close the "autism employment gap", after revealing that only 16% of those with autism are in full-time paid work.
David Malamatenios is partner at Colman Coyle solicitors. He rounds up the latest rulings.
The number of employment tribunal claims for discrimination arising from disability appears to be rising. John Charlton looks at what is behind the trend, and asks how future developments could affect the way employers manage disabled people at work.
Updated to include information on Buchanan v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, in which the EAT dealt with justification in the context of discrimination arising from disability.
A table listing the disability discrimination awards made by employment tribunals in 2015/16.
Chris Cook is partner and head of employment and Keely Rushmore is senior associate at SA Law. They round up the latest rulings.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to disability discrimination.