Legal Article - Employment Law

Disability Discrimination and the Equality Act 2010

Disabled people are protected in a similar way to that provided by the sex and race discrimination legislation. Again there is direct and indirect discrimination. Direct cases of discrimination can never be justified.
A disabled person is one who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities:
 
• An impairment must last, or can reasonably be expected to last, at least 12 months but there are special provisions for recurring or fluctuating conditions.
 
• The impairment includes the affect on mobility, manual dexterity, physical coordination, ability to lift/carry/move everyday objects, speech/hearing/or eyesight, memory or ability to learn or understand, eating, washing or walking.
 
• Covers progressive conditions (e.g. cancer, multiple sclerosis) that will affect, in the future, the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Protection begins from the point of diagnosis.
 
Employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to working conditions or physical features of the workplace where otherwise a disabled person would be at a substantial disadvantage and the employer doesn’t know or couldn’t be reasonably expected to know the person is disabled.

Published: 24 Mar 2011

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