Disability Discrimination in the workplace

Employment Law - Disability in the workplace

If you have a long-term medical condition you may be a disabled person. If you feel you are being treated unfairly by your employer or work colleagues because of your medical condition; or your employer has not agreed to make adjustments to your working environment to assist you; you may have a claim for disability discrimination. Please contact one of our advisers to discuss. The Employment Tribunal has very strict time-limits for makings claims; usually three months less one day from the date of your complaint. It is therefore important that you seek advice as soon as possible.

What is Disability Discrimination in the workplace?

If you have a medical condition which has lasted for 12 months or more (or is likely to last for 12 months or more) and which has had a substantial adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, you may qualify for protection under the Equality Act 2010. Examples of medical conditions which are usually considered to be disabilities for the purposes of the act are; deafness, blindness, wheelchair use, cancer, multiple sclerosis, etc.

If you do have a disability it is unlawful for your employer to:

  • Directly discriminate against you by subjecting you to less favourable treatment.
  • Fail to make reasonable adjustments to help you to do your job. Examples of reasonable adjustments include: installing wheelchair access, changing your working hours or responsibilities, offering you redeployment, etc.
  • Victimise you, e.g. by bullying you for raising an issue of disability discrimination.

Who can bring a claim for Disability Discrimination?

There is no requirement for you to have been employed by your employer for any length of time before you can bring a claim for disability discrimination. You can bring a claim if you are:

  • A job applicant (if you are turned down for a job because of your disability)
  • An employee (even if you are in the first day of your employment)
  • A worker (i.e. you are not an employee but are still providing services to your “employer”, e.g. as a self-employed contractor).

Remedies

If you have been discriminated against because of your disability the Employment Tribunal may award you compensation. This is usually compensation for any losses you may suffer (e.g. lost wages if you are dismissed) and an award for injury to feelings. There is no limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded for unlawful discrimination.

Time Limits

In order to submit a claim to the Employment Tribunal for disability discrimination the claim must be submitted within three months less one day from the date of the incident complained of.

We can help

If you have been subjected to disability discrimination in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact your nearest Ringrose Law Office. We have offices in Boston, Sleaford, Grantham, Newark, Lincoln or Spalding and ask for a member of the Employment Law Team.

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