Disability Discrimination & Your Rights
Disability discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably, or not given the same opportunities as others in a similar situation, because of their disability. It can also occur when an unreasonable rule or policy is the same for everyone but has an unfair effect on people with a particular disability.
Disability discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favorably, or not given the same opportunities as others in a similar situation, because of their disability. It can also occur when an unreasonable rule or policy is the same for everyone but has an unfair effect on people with a particular disability.
The treatment could be a one-off action, the application of a rule or policy, or the existence of physical or communication barriers which make accessing something difficult or impossible. Discrimination does not have to be intentional to be unlawful.
Pursuant to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, a disability means a physical or a mental condition that has a substantial and long-term impact on your ability to do normal day-to-day activities.
You are covered by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, if you have a progressive condition like cancer or multiple sclerosis, even if you are currently able to carry out normal day-to-day activities. You are protected as soon as you are diagnosed with a progressive condition.
Pursuant to the Act and the interpretation schedule
"Disability" , in relation to a person, means:
(a) total or partial loss of the person's bodily or mental functions ; or
(b) total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
(c) the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
(d) the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
(e) the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person's body; or
(f) a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
(g) a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person's thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;
and includes a disability that:
(h) presently exists; or
(i) previously existed but no longer exists; or
(j) may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability ); or
(k) is imputed to a person.
Pursuant to section 15 of the Act (Discrimination in Employment)
(1) It is unlawful for an employer or a person acting or purporting to act on behalf of an employer to discriminate against a person on the ground of the other person's disability;
(a) in the arrangements made for the purpose of determining who should be offered employment; or
(b) in determining who should be offered employment; or
(c) in the terms or conditions on which employment is offered.
(2) It is unlawful for an employer or a person acting or purporting to act on behalf of an employer to discriminate against an employee on the ground of the employee's disability:
(a) in the terms or conditions of employment that the employer affords the employee; or
(b) by denying the employee access, or limiting the employee's access, to opportunities for promotion, transfer, or training, or to any other benefits associated with employment; or
(c) by dismissing the employee; or
(d) by subjecting the employee to any other detriment.
Physical or mental disabilities may include;
- physical impairments, such as mobility difficulties;
- sensory impairments such as those affecting hearing or sight;
- learning difficulties, including people with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia;
- mental health conditions or illnesses which have long-term effects such as depression and anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders;
- genetic and progressive conditions, if the condition affects your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities;
- conditions which are characterized by a number of cumulative effects such as pain or fatigue;
- hidden impairments such as asthma or diabetes, if these have an effect on your day-to-day activities;
- past history of impairment - this applies if you are no longer disabled but met the definition in the past
- This list is not exhaustive and each person's circumstances are unique.
Hence, if you believe that you experienced Disability Discrimination please contact the Connect Legal team and we will have a confidential and private chat to better understand your circumstances. Our work is also undertaken on a no-win no fee basis which we have been doing for the past 23-plus years.
Here you can see our video about disability discrimination, where we answered the most popular questions about disability discrimination.
There are five main types of disability discrimination;
a. direct discrimination;
b. indirect discrimination;
c. failure to make reasonable adjustments;
d. discrimination arising from disability;
Direct discrimination happens when a person, or a group of people, is treated less favorably than another person or group because of their background or certain personal characteristics.
This is when you are treated worse than another person or other people because you have a protected characteristic; someone thinks you have that protected characteristic (known as discrimination by perception); you are connected to someone with that protected characteristic (known as discrimination by association);
Your circumstances must be similar enough to the circumstances of the person being treated better for a valid comparison to be made. If you cannot point to another person who has been treated better, it is still direct discrimination if you can show that a person who did not have your protected characteristic would have been treated better in similar circumstances.
To be unlawful, the treatment must have happened in one of the situations that are covered by the Act.
For example, in the workplace or when you are receiving goods or services.
Indirect discrimination happens when there is a policy that applies in the same way for everybody but disadvantages a group of people who share a protected characteristic, and you are disadvantaged as part of this group.
If this happens, the person or organization applying the policy must show that there is a good reason for it.
A ‘policy’ can include a practice, a rule, or an arrangement. It makes no difference whether anyone intended the policy to disadvantage you or not.
To prove that indirect discrimination is happening or has happened:
There must be a policy that an organization is applying equally to everyone (or to everyone in a group that includes you) a. the policy must disadvantage people with your protected characteristic when compared with people without it b. you must be able to show that it has disadvantaged you personally or that it will disadvantage you c. the organization cannot show that there is a good reason for applying the policy despite the level of disadvantage to people with your protected characteristic.
The Disability Discrimination Act recognizes that achieving equality for disabled people may mean changing the way that employment is structured.
This could be removing physical barriers or providing extra support for a disabled worker or job applicant.
This is the duty to make reasonable adjustments. Your employer has a duty to take steps to remove, reduce or prevent the obstacles you face as a disabled worker or job applicant, where it's reasonable to do so.
The employer only has to make adjustments where they are aware – or should reasonably be aware – that you have a disability.
The Act also protects people from discrimination arising from disability.
This protects you from being treated badly because of something connected to your disability, such as having an assistance dog or needing time off for medical appointments. This does not apply unless the person who discriminated against you knew you had a disability or ought to have known.
Discrimination arising from disability is unlawful unless the organization or employer is able to show that there is a good reason for the treatment and it is proportionate.
Please explained what the term victimization means in relation to a disability inquiry or complaint I have made.
This is when you are treated badly because you have made a complaint of discrimination under the Act.
It can also occur if you are supporting someone who has made a complaint of discrimination. For example, an employee has made a complaint of disability discrimination.
The employer threatens to sack them unless they withdraw the complaint and the employer threatens to sack a member of staff because he thinks she intends to support a colleague’s disability discrimination claim.
Physical disfigurement, and
The presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.
It’s against the law for employers to discriminate against you because of a disability.
The Act protects you and covers areas including application forms;
aptitude or proficiency tests; job offers;
terms of employment, including pay; promotion,
transfer, and training opportunities;
dismissal or redundancy;
discipline, and grievances.
We understand your predicament, and in the significant number of racism matters we’ve assisted with, we’ve always come across this dilemma that fellow colleagues aren’t prepared to give you a written statement. However, this should not compromise your position in lodging a racial discrimination claim and our experiences have shown that if we can prepare a comprehensive statement and ensure the facts are correct, in the medium-long run, your racism claim will all into place and your manager and employer will understand the hurt it has caused you. Finally, it’s all about storytelling, please ring our team for a discussion.
Our legal services will be undertaken on a No Win No Fee basis as has been the case from inception when we commenced defending employee rights in the late 90s. We will provide a written costs agreement outlining our No Win No Fee policy and will provide an estimate of the applicable fees.