Topics

Disability discrimination

Fiona Cuming

Editor's message: People with disabilities are protected in the workplace against discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of their disability. The protection 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 adopts a rule 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 constitutes 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.

Fiona Cuming, employment law editor

New and updated

  • Disability discrimination: EAT considers if car parking space is a reasonable adjustment

    Date:
    10 April 2019
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Linsley v Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the employer's discretionary car parking policy was a relevant factor to be taken into account in determining the issue of reasonable adjustments, as was the particular disadvantage suffered by the employee, namely the stress of searching for a parking place.

  • Webinar: Tricky sickness issues - your questions answered

    Date:
    28 March 2019
    Type:
    Audio and video

    Darren Newman discusses tricky sickness absence related issues, including the relationship between sickness absence and disability discrimination, and the steps you can take to support an employee's return to work.

  • Dismissing mentally ill employee for failing to attend meetings was discrimination, decides tribunal

    Date:
    25 March 2019
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Flemming v East of England Ambulance Services NHS Trust, an employment tribunal held that an NHS Trust discriminated against a mentally ill employee by dismissing him for gross misconduct following his failure to attend a sickness absence review meeting and occupational health appointments.

  • Date:
    25 February 2019
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    Equality is high on the agenda of most NHS employers. As well as being subject to the gender pay gap reporting regime, NHS employers are required to comply with an equality standard in relation to race, and from April 2019 will be required to comply with a standard on disability. Nicky Green from law firm Capsticks explores what the standards mean for NHS employers.

  • TUC and GMB 'passports' to boost disabled people in work

    Date:
    25 February 2019
    Type:
    News

    The TUC and the GMB union have launched an effort to prevent disabled people from leaving their jobs because of employers' failure to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

  • Podcast: The dangers of dismissing employees in receipt of permanent health insurance payments

    Date:
    22 February 2019
    Type:
    Audio and video

    We discuss the implications for employers of the recent EAT decision in Awan v ICTS UK Ltd, which illustrates the risks for employers of dismissing an employee who is in receipt of permanent health insurance payments.

  • Disability discrimination

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Updated to include information on Ishola v Transport for London, in which the EAT considered the correct comparison when comparing, in a reasonable adjustments claim, the adverse effect of the erratic payment of sick pay.

  • Disability 'woefully absent' from leadership agendas

    Date:
    16 January 2019
    Type:
    News

    While leadership teams increasingly embrace the challenges of gender and ethnic diversity, research has shown that disability is absent from most board-level discussions around the world.

  • Dismissal for urinating in loading yard was unfair and something arising from disability

    Date:
    10 January 2019
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Asda Stores Ltd v Raymond, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the tribunal decision that the employer's failure to conduct a reasonable investigation and to take reasonable care during the disciplinary process made the employee's dismissal unfair. The EAT also upheld the tribunal's ruling that his dismissal arose from his disability.

  • Date:
    3 January 2019
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    Consultant editor Darren Newman suggests that a recent Supreme Court decision raises more questions than it answers about the tricky issue of what exactly constitutes "unfavourable treatment" because of something arising in consequence of a disability.