Employment law

Disability discrimination at work

The Equality Act 2010 says that you cannot be discriminated against because of any disability, whether it relates to a physical condition or to your mental health. If you've suffered discrimination at work due to disability, our experienced solicitors are here to help you.

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What is disability discrimination?

Under, the Equality Act 2010, it's unlawful for you to be discriminated against in the workplace because of a disability. While you might think that this relates only to severe physical disabilities such as paraplegia, the Equality Act 2010 exists to protect you against all forms of disability discrimination, including mental health issues such as long-term depression, stress and anxiety. In fact, if you have any condition that affects your ability to carry out everyday activities to any significant extent, and which has lasted, or is likely to last for 12 months or more, your disability may fall under the protection of the Equality Act 2010 as one of the nine protected characteristics.

That's why, if you believe that you've been discriminated against on account of any disability - whether physical or mental, while you were at work or during the recruitment process - speak to one of our experienced employment discrimination solicitors today. Call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us and we'll call you.

What form does disability discrimination take?

Unfortunately, our disability discrimination solicitors come across many forms of discrimination against people with disabilities. These can include:

  • Being unfairly selected for redundancy because of a disability
  • Being dismissed on account of a disability, perhaps because of punctuality issues that are directly related to your disability
  • Offensive comments being made about your disability, which are ignored or inadequately dealt with by your employer
  • Failure by your employer to agree a request for flexible working for example, that might make your journey to and from work more manageable, by virtue of enabling you to avoid rush hour crowds on public transport

If you believe that you've been discriminated against at work, or during the recruitment process due to any disability, speak to one of our experienced employment solicitors today. Call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us and we'll call you.

Do mental health issues count as a disability?

Yes they do. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination against people with mental health issues in exactly the same way as it protects those with physical disabilities. In fact, the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010 can include a wide range of mental health issues including debilitating conditions such as long-term depression, stress and anxiety issues. This means that your employer has a legal duty to make sure you're not discriminated against, harassed or victimised because of any mental health issues you may have. Your employer may also have a duty to make reasonable adjustments.

The Equality Act 2010 has also been extended to cover direct discrimination and harassment suffered because of a disability of a person with whom you are associated, even if you're not yourself disabled. This would protect, for example, carers of disabled persons from detrimental treatment or comments made because of their association with a disabled person. The concept of 'Associative Discrimination' does not, however, extend to other types of disability discrimination such as the duty to make reasonable adjustments or discrimination arising from disability.

Further, individuals perceived to be disabled even if they're not disabled, could also be covered by the Equality Act 2010 against act of direct discrimination and harassment. In perception cases, it may not be necessary for an individual to fulfil the statutory definition of a disability.

If you've been dismissed from your job or discriminated against because of mental health issues, the Equality Act 2010, and our experienced and understanding team of solicitors, are both on your side. Call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us and we'll call you.

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