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 him or her less favourably because of his or her disability. Less favourable treatment may include a dismissal. Where an employer treats an employee unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of his or her disability, for example, by dismissing him or her 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.