My employer will not help with my disability | Blog | Paul Doran Law

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My employer will not help with my disability

According to The Equality Act 2010, you must not be discriminated against because you have a disability, because someone thinks you have a disability, or because you are connected to someone with a disability.

What’s more, your employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments that take account of your disability.

What does The Equality Act cover?

The Equality Act protects you from discrimination due to any physical or mental condition that has a substantial and long-term impact on your ability to do normal day-to-day activities.

The Act also covers you as soon as you are diagnosed with a progressive condition such as HIV, cancer or multiple sclerosis, even if you can still carry out normal day-to-day activities.

It even protects you from discrimination if you had a disability in the past that you have now recovered from, such as a mental health condition that lasted for over 12 months.

And finally, it protects you against being asked health questions that are designed to screen out disabled job applicants, such as whether or not you are taking any medication (unless there is a good reason why the employer needs to know).

There are a few exceptions. Where there is a genuine need, an employer can specify that someone needs a particular protected characteristic in order to do the job – this is called occupational requirement.

It is always lawful to treat disabled people more favourably than non-disabled people.

Have you been discriminated against?

Discrimination is when you are treated differently because of your disability, whether as a one-off, because of a rule or policy, or unintentionally.

Direct discrimination:

Has someone treated you worse than another person in a similar situation?

For example, you tell an interviewer about your disability and the employer doesn’t offer you the job because they assume you will need a lot of time off.

Indirect discrimination:

Does an organisation have a particular policy that has a worse impact on people with your disability than people without?

For example, an employer requires applicants to use an online recruitment portal, but it’s not accessible for people with a visual impairment and doesn’t work with screen-reading software, but they don’t offer any alternative way to apply. (If the organisation can prove there is a good reason for the policy, indirect disability discrimination can be permitted – in this case it’s called objective justification.)

Failure to make reasonable adjustments:

Has an employer or organisation ensured that you can access jobs, education and services as easily as non-disabled people?

For example, your employer won’t give you a designated parking space near the office even though you have impaired mobility. (Whether or not this is reasonable depends on factors such as how big the organisation is and how many parking spaces they have.)

Discrimination arising from disability:

Have you been treated badly because of something connected to your disability?

For example, your employer won’t give you a bonus because you have a high level of sickness absence, even though they knew about your disability. (If the employer can show there is a good reason for the way they treat you, it will be objective justification and not discrimination arising from disability.)

Harassment:

Have you been treated in a way that made you feel humiliated, offended or degraded?

For example, your colleagues call you names because of your disability. (Harassment can never be justified, however if the organisation can prove it did everything possible to prevent their employees behaving that way, you will not be able to claim against the employer although you might be able to claim against the harasser.)

Victimisation:

Have you been treated badly because you complained about disability discrimination or you are supporting someone else who complained about disability discrimination?

For example, your employer threatened to sack you unless you withdraw your complaint.

Need help?

For a FREE assessment of your claim, call 0808 168 7288 or fill in the contact form on the top right of this page.

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We will also discuss the best methods of funding your case and seek to reach a solution that best suits your needs. This can involve a “no-win, no-fee” agreement if appropriate.

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