If an employee is dismissed because of a disability, is the employer acting unlawfully?
Under the Equality Act 2010, an employer directly discriminates against a disabled employee if it treats them less favourably because of their disability. Less favourable treatment may include a dismissal. Where an employer treats an employee unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of their disability, for example, by dismissing them because of a disability-related absence, this may constitute discrimination arising from disability if the employer cannot justify the treatment. A dismissal may also constitute indirect discrimination if it is the result of the application by the employer of a discriminatory provision, criterion or practice that the employer cannot justify. It would also be unlawful for the employer to fail to make reasonable adjustments to the organisation's redundancy selection process or disciplinary procedure to prevent the disabled person being placed at a disadvantage.