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Disability Discrimination


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2 January 2013

In 2010 all anti-discrimination laws were collated under one Act, the Equality Act 2010 ('the Act'). The Act creates a list of 9 characteristics which are unlawful to discriminate against. These characteristics are: disability, age, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation and pregnancy and maternity. This article focuses on disability discrimination.

It is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of a physical or mental disability. It is also unlawful if an employer fails to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a worker with a disability. Under the Act a person is classified as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

The Act provides a disabled worker with protection from discrimination in several situations. Employers must not directly or indirectly discriminate against a worker because of their actual or perceived disability or treat them less favourably for a reason relating to their impairment. Procedures, policy or practices which are applicable to all workers but are disproportionately disadvantageous to those who share a particular disability are also not allowed. The employer should therefore make reasonable adjustments in the recruitment and employment of disabled workers.

Finally an employer must not treat an employee unfairly who has made or supported a complaint about discrimination because of disability. Employers should ensure they have policies in place which are designed to prevent discrimination.

If a worker believes they have been subject to disability discrimination at work there are several options available to resolve the situation. Firstly, it may be resolved by talking informally with colleagues, manager or the human resources department. Secondly, they may want to raise a formal grievance using the employer's grievance procedure.

By Rachel Pellatt

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-02-18 09:53:55 in Legal Articles

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