Home » What Is Disability Discrimination?

What Is Disability Discrimination?

January 21, 2014,
Navya Shekhar,

The Equality Act 2010 provides disabled people with protection from discrimination.

The following types of disability discrimination are prohibited: direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, discrimination arising from a disability, disability harassment and victimisation in the work place.

Am I disabled?

Many people suffering from long-standing medical complaints which are affecting their daily activities are unaware that they are legally considered to be disabled.

Under the Equality Act 2010 a person is disabled if they satisfy the following test:

  1. Do they have a physical or mental impairment?
  2. Does their impairment have a ‘substantial’ effect on their ability to carry out daily activities? ‘Substantial’ means more than minor or trivial – e.g. it takes much longer than usual to carry out a daily task like getting dressed.
  3. Does their impairment have a ‘long-term’ effect on their ability to carry out normal daily activities? ‘Long-term’ means if a medical condition or illness is likely to last for 12 months or longer.

If you have any of the following conditions you are automatically considered to be disabled: cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV, severe disfigurements, blindness, severe sight impairment, sight impairment and partial sightedness (if confirmed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist).

Some conditions are not considered to be disabilities e.g. drug and alcohol addiction.

What are ‘reasonable adjustments’?

Employers have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the work place and working practices to help disabled employees and job applicants.

Some examples of ‘reasonable adjustments’ are:

  • Changing equipment/providing additional equipment;
  • Making changes to the work place, e.g. installing ramps for wheelchair users;
  • Enabling an employee to rearrange their hours to permit them to attend a weekly counselling session.

Disability discrimination law is complicated and this article only provides a brief summary of the law.

The time limits for bringing a disability discrimination claim are strict and you should not delay seeking legal advice.

If you believe you have a disability discrimination claim, please contact us for a no obligation discussion, to see if we are able to help you.


Previous post: What is a manual handling accident? 

Next post: I have been forced to leave my job. Can I take legal action? 



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Navya Shekhar

Navya Shekhar

My name is Navya Shekhar. I am a Director and Head of Employment Law at Truth Legal. I have over 10 years' experience in employment law and have been working at Truth Legal since 2015.

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