It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of a disability from which they suffer, or as a result of something directly arising from their disability.
In order to be able to establish a claim, an employee must be able to show that they are entitled to be considered as disabled. A disability is defined as a mental or physical impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the individual’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. We are able to advise on whether or not a particular condition will be considered as a disability.
Direct disability discrimination occurs when an employer discriminates against an individual solely because of their disability – an example of this would be choosing not to promote someone for the sole reason that they are disabled.
In addition, employers are also under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to prevent disabled workers being placed at a substantial disadvantage in the workplace. Examples of such adjustments would include allowing a worker to take regular breaks due to his disability, or providing adapted equipment for a disabled worker.
The law protects all employees with disabilities, regardless of their length of service – there is no necessary qualifying period needed to bring a discrimination claim. However, this area of the law is particularly complicated and demanding, and we would always advise someone considering whether or not to pursue such a claim to take specialist legal advice.