Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of a physical or mental disability. It is also unlawful to fail to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a worker with a disability.
“Disabled” means a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on the employee’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Day-to-day activities include things such as using a telephone, reading a book or using public transport.
- must not directly discriminate against a person because of their actual or perceived disability, or because they associate with a disabled person
- must not treat a disabled person less favourably for a reason related to his or her impairment, unless that treatment can be justified - for example you may reject someone who has a severe back problem where the job entails heavy lifting
- must not have procedures, policy or practices which, although applicable to all workers, disproportionately disadvantage people with a particular disability, unless these can be justified
- must make reasonable adjustments in the recruitment and employment of disabled people
- must not treat an employee unfairly who has made or supported a complaint about discrimination because of disability.
Disabled employees are also protected from harassment, ie unwanted conduct related to disability which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.
It is important that you put in place policies to prevent discrimination in areas such as:
- recruitment and selection
- determining pay
- discipline and grievances
- training and development
- selection for promotion
- countering bullying and harassment
Contact us for more information on disability.