How much money can I get for disability discrimination? - Paul Doran Law

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How much money can I get for disability discrimination?

How much money can I get for disability discrimination?How much money can I get for disability discrimination?

The wheelchair icon is the national symbol for disability. You’ve probably seen it on toilet doors, in car parks and on public transport. It usually consists of a blue square overlaid in white or other contrasting colours, with a stylised image of a person in a wheelchair.

This is the International Symbol of Access (ISA), also known as the (International) Wheelchair Symbol, and it denotes areas where access has been improved. Designed in 1968, the ISA has been adopted internationally.

However, not everyone understands what it means. According to a poll of 3,000 UK adults by Passenger Assistance:

Not all disabilities are visible

Despite the icon, it’s important to note that only 8% of disabled people use a wheelchair.

For example, a blind person might be happier using the disabled loo because they know their way around the layout and there’s space in there for their guide dog, while a person with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) might need urgent access to the disabled loo to avoid having an embarrassing accident.

However, the survey revealed that 24% of people would challenge someone for using accessible facilities if they suspected they weren’t eligible.

Many people with visible or hidden disabilities experience discrimination like this in their day-to-day life.

When it comes to disability discrimination in the workplace, we can help. We are UK employment lawyers who only ever act for employees, not employers. We have years of experience in helping people with their disability discrimination cases.

What does the law say?

The law that protects disabled people (and others) from discrimination is the Equality Act 2010.

Definition of ‘disability’:

“A physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and adverse long-term effect on your day-to-day activities.”

The Act protects you from unfair treatment if you have a disability yourself, if you are perceived to have a disability (even though you don’t), and even when the disability applies to someone else, such as when you’re caring for a loved one who’s disabled.

Under the Act, your employer should make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for your disability. There’s more on that in our article: My employer hasn’t made reasonable adjustments for me.

Ah, but how much money will I get?

Let’s suppose you have a disability under the definition covered by the Act, and you’ve experienced discrimination at work. You might want to know how much you can expect you get if you take your employer to the Employment Tribunal.

Every individual case differs, so it’s impossible to quote a single number. When you win your case, the Tribunal will calculate an amount based on:

It doesn’t include an amount to ‘punish’ the employer who allowed the discrimination.

How to calculate injury to feelings

Injured feelings are hard to measure, so a scale has been established based on previous case law, called the Vento scale. The amounts are reviewed annually, and here are the current bands (for claims presented on or after 6 April 2024):

Note that there’s no upper limit, and the most exceptional cases can exceed £58,700.

As you’ll see, the bands are quite broad, so the Tribunal has flexibility to fix the compensation at what is fair and just in each case.

The more upsetting the conduct is to you, the more seriously the discrimination is likely to be viewed by the Tribunal, and the higher the award you’re likely to be granted.

If a one-off act of discrimination is particularly humiliating or serious and you suffer serious consequences as a result, you might get an award in one of the higher bands.

What makes a discriminatory act ‘serious’?

If you’re wondering about what makes discrimination serious enough to get a high award, here are a few examples:

In any event, you’ll need to provide evidence in the form of documents, receipts, medical reports, and/or witness statements.

What to do

Different people react to discrimination in different ways. Make a note of:

You need to provide a complete picture of the incident and the impact, without exaggeration.

If you have suffered disability discrimination at work, let us know. The initial call is free, and we’ll tell you your chances of winning a claim and how much you might get.

Further reading

We’ve written about similar topics several times before. Here are a few of our previous articles that you might find useful:

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