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
We provide a mid-year round-up of key employment law cases in 2017.
The employment tribunal held that the dismissal of a disabled employee on a final written attendance warning following an absence unrelated to her disabilities constituted discrimination arising from disability.
The employment tribunal held that the claimant's former employer committed discrimination arising from disability after providing details of his sickness absence levels to a prospective employer and stating that it would not re-employ him.
Mencap is urging employers to use apprenticeships to increase levels of employment for people with learning disabilities.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that the employee's disability-related absence was not the effective cause of the employer's decision to make the employee redundant. Rather, the absence was part of the context in which the employer identified the opportunity to restructure its business and eliminate the employee's post.
Updated to include information on Government Legal Service v Brookes, in which the EAT held that a requirement for a job applicant with Asperger's syndrome to complete an online psychometric test was indirectly discriminatory.
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.
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.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to disability discrimination.