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legal documents including employment contracts, employee handbook, dismissal letters and policies and procedures.

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As a small business without in-house legal expertise, keeping up-tp-date with the increasingly complex new regulations.

Disability Discrimination

With the average compensation for disability discrimination in 2010/2011 at £14,000 (and the highest pay-out in the same period of £181,000), are you confident that your company policies and procedures will prevent an Employment Tribunal claim for disability discrimination being made against you?

Disability discrimination is unlawful in the UK (a disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities).  Whether deliberate or not, discrimination would occur when a worker or potential worker has been treated less favourably than others on the basis of disability.

If you or any of your staff are likely to do any of the following then you need to think again:

  • At an interview, fail to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled applicant which put them at a substantial disadvantage
  • Not shortlist an applicant for interview because of assumptions about a disability
  • Allow the physical features of the premises to make a disabled employee unable to work
  • Terminate employment because of long term absence for depression

Being guilty of any of the above, or similar, means you are asking for trouble. The good news is that help is at hand to protect your company against Employment Tribunal claims being made.

Protecting your business from Employment Tribunal claims

Do you know what to do to ensure your company is protected? Black, White and Grey will assist you to find solutions to problems encountered with disability discrimination in the workplace.  Even the following simple measures can help:

  • review and amend your equal opportunities, recruitment and harassment policies and procedures in light of the Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • have a disability policy covering all aspects of employment from recruitment to termination of employment.
  • ensure that all management level staff and those involved in the recruitment process are given training on the main provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • make sure that your employees know that any grievance about disability discrimination will be taken seriously, even if it is raised informally.

If you require assistance with dealing with an Employment Tribunal claim for disability discrimination against your company, or you need employment law advice on how to avoid such claims, get in touch with us now.  We have the expertise and experienced employment law specialists at hand to assist and advise you.

Did you know...?

There are four types of disability discrimination which stem from workers' rights not to be discriminated against on the basis of disability, as contained in the Equality Act 2010.

1. Direct discrimination - a person is treated less favourably than others because of disability. An example of this is where a worker is refused flexible working hours to look after a disabled spouse, yet the same request has been granted to workers who do not have disabled spouses. 

2. Indirect discrimination - the employer has a provision, criterion or practice which has the effect of placing workers who share a disability at a particular disadvantage and cannot be objectively justified. For example, all workers are required to use the same type of computer at work. This may put a person with dyslexia at a particular disadvantage, if reasonable adjustments are not made.

3. Harassment - unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity and creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment to work in.  It also occurs where the unwanted conduct is because of another person's disability.  For example, making jokes about the disability of a worker's spouse.

4. Victimisation - where a worker receives less favourable treatment compared to others because they have exercised a right not to be discriminated against under the law.  An example of this would be where a worker has made a complaint of disability discrimination or intends to do so or has supported another worker who has made a disability discrimination complaint, which resulted in their own unfair treatment.