Disability discrimination at work

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Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Disability discrimination at work occurs in a situation where an employee is placed at a disadvantage due to a particular condition or impairment. 

Types of disadvantages which may occur could include the following:-

  1. The withdrawal of a job offer;
  2. a dismissal due to disability related absences;
  3. bullying which occurs because an employee is disabled; or
  4. an employer failing to carry out reasonable adjustments that would assist a disabled employee to perform their role.

As disability discrimination solicitors, we regularly advise employees who have been subjected to disability discrimination in the workplace. This discrimination which amounts to less favourable treatment for reasons related to the disability can arise in various circumstances. 

Disability Discrimination Compensation

Direct disability discrimination arises when a disabled person is treated differently because of their impairment or condition which amounts to a disability. 

Indirect discrimination occurs where a rule or process which exists within the workplace places a disabled person at a disadvantage. 

Disability related harassment occurs where employees are subjected to offensive remarks or derogatory treatment concerning their disability. 

A failure to make a reasonable adjustment can also constitute disability discrimination. This applies in a situation where an employer fails to carry out adjustments either to the role itself, or to the circumstances surrounding the role, to facilitate its proper performance. There is no specific definition of what constitutes ‘reasonable’ in terms of an adjustment. This can be dependent on the nature of the role or the employer itself. If an adjustment is relatively straightforward and inexpensive to carry out, and the employer has failed to carry out the adjustment, this may amount to less valuable treatments for reasons linked to an employee’s disability.

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Disability Discrimination Solicitors

Disability discrimination compensation is calculated with reference to an individual’s loss of salary and their injury to feelings. Unlike unfair dismissal claims, disability discrimination claims, as well as any claims for any type of discrimination, are not subject to any limit in terms of the compensation that may be awarded by the employment tribunal. 

All the lawyers at DPH Legal have extensive experience in providing disability discrimination advice both in terms of claims through employment tribunals as well as agreeing disability discrimination compensation for individuals prior to issuing employment tribunal claims. 

Disability discrimination compensation is typically agreed within a document known as a settlement agreement.  Alternatively, when employment tribunal proceedings have already been issued, it is agreed in a document known as a COT3.

Employees should be aware of the time limits which apply to disability discrimination claims which are brought in an employment tribunal. An employee is required to bring a claim for disability discrimination within three months of the date of an act or omission which amounts to disability discrimination. 

Employees who are concerned that they may have been subjected to disability discrimination should seek immediate legal advice and consider contacting ACAS to protect that legal position. Keep notes of any conversations or copies of correspondence with your employer which could evidence that less favourable treatment for reasons linked to a disability has taken place. For further advice in relation to any of these matters, please contact us on the telephone number provided.

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