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Disability Discrimination

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of a disability against an employee or worker if the reason is connected to or because of your disability. Disabled people can work alongside their non-disabled colleagues without any or very little special assistance. 

Disability is defined as a person suffering with a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term negative effect on their ability to carry out normal daily activities.

There are only three conditions that automatically qualify as disabilities which are Cancer, HIV and Multiple Sclerosis.  If you suffer with any other condition, this may constitute a disability if your circumstances fulfil the definition. Examples of this could be:

  • Stress, Anxiety and Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Dyslexia
  • Autism

Conditions which do amount to disabilities are addiction or dependency to alcohol, nicotine, or any other substance (other than in consequence of the substance being medically prescribed), seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever, except where it aggravates the effect of another condition), tendancy to set fires, tendency to steal, tenancy to physical or sexual abuse of other persons, exhibitionism and voyeurism.

Possible examples of disability discrimination could be:

  • refused employment on the basis of your disability 
  • offered employment on less favourable terms on the basis of your disability
  • placed on a performance management programme due to your inability to perform on the basis of your disability
  • denied promotion, training and other benefits on the basis of your disability
  • disciplined for taking time off in connection with your disability
  • subjected to a detriment on the basis of your disability
  • dismissed on the basis of your disability
  • not allowed adjustment or suitable working practices

To bring a claim of discrimination, you will need to demonstrate that you are or were an employee or a worker, or were applying for a job as an employee or worker.  There is no qualifying period of employment required to bring a claim for discrimination. 

To present a claim, you must contact ACAS and complete Early Conciliation within three months starting from the date of the last act of discrimination. 

It is possible that if you are dismissed simply because of your disability, that you are disabled and/or for situations that were only as a result of your disability this could amount to an act of discrimination giving rise to claims. 

If you are dismissed from employment without any reason or evidence provided you are entitled to request these from your employer.  If the reasons given are connected to your disability, you may be able to seek recourse in an Employment Tribunal.   

In situations where you face possible redundancy, this can also be unfair if the reason for your selection is connected to you being disabled or unable to perform the same due to your disability.  In situations where you feel you are being treated unfairly due to your disability and this could lead to your dismissal, you may also hold claims. 

With offices in Leicester, Wigston and Market Harborough we are willing to discuss your employment law claim at any of our offices. In addition we are a national provider of expert employment law advice and welcome a free discussion with you regarding you circumstances and potential claim.  If you believe you have a situation where you require free legal advice, please contact us on telephone 01162121000 or 01858445480. Alternatively fill in the free Contact Us form above and we will get in touch as soon as possible.

In addition to No Win No Fee, Lawson West solicitors act for our clients on a variety of other funding arrangements including Legal Expenses insurance funding. We can assess your case to decide which is the best funding option for you.

Click this link to access disability specific downloads.