Disability discrimination

Eleanor Gelder 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

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