Is an employer breaching the Equality Act 2010 if it fails to make adjustments for a disabled person?
Under s.20 of the Equality Act 2010, where a provision, criterion or practice of the employer's, or a physical feature of premises occupied by the employer puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, the employer is required to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take, to avoid the disadvantage. Also, where a disabled person would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid (or an auxiliary service), be put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled the employer is required to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take, to provide the auxiliary aid.
For example, if an employer usually requires employees to work full time, this could put someone with a disability that causes severe fatigue at a substantial disadvantage. It could be a reasonable adjustment for the employer to allow the employee to work on a part-time basis, to avoid the disadvantage.
Where the employer fails in a duty of reasonable adjustment that arises in relation to a disabled person, this constitutes discrimination against that person unless the employer does not know, or could not reasonably be expected to know, that the employee or potential or actual job applicant has a disability and is likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage.