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Inflammatory Bowel Disease 'IBD'

If you are an employee suffering from an inflammatory bowel disease i.e. Crohn’s disease or colitis, you may feel some anxiety about whether your employer will treat you differently for matters associated with your ill health - such as time off. The law offers some protection, but the level will depend on whether you qualify as disabled as described within the Equality Act 2010.

Not everyone with IBD may consider themselves to have a disability, but in practice, you may well qualify for protection against discrimination.

If you are considered to have a disability because of your condition, you have the right to request a ‘reasonable adjustment’.

Thereafter your employer must take reasonable steps to implement the adjustments to your workplace or work arrangements required to ensure you are not at a ‘substantial disadvantage’ compared to other employees. It may be of benefit to seek the support of an Occupational Therapist who could provide you with examples of some adjustments that can be made to your role. 

Reasonable adjustments could include:

• allowing time for medical appointments or treatment
• dispensation for your level of absence, if related to your disability
• flexible working arrangements, e.g. shorter hours or a different working pattern
• moving your work station so it is near a toilet
• providing you with a car parking space close to the entrance to your work premises
• allocating some of your duties to someone else
• offering a different place of work, unlimited toilet breaks
• offering you new tasks that are more suitable and providing training on them if required

Your employer may be entitled to financial assistance to help fund any adjustments needed through Access to Work via the Jobcentre Plus.

Making a claim

If your employer does not consult with you, carry out the necessary checks and investigations and make any reasonable adjustments required following your request your work may suffer. In some circumstances you may find that you are dismissed on the basis that you are unable to carry out the role. If this is the case then you may be entitled to claim against your employer for disability discrimination.

There is no minimum length of employment required to bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal, but it is important to lodge your claim with ACAS within 3 months of the act of discrimination occurring. It is therefore essential that you take legal advice on your situation at an early stage and as soon as possible.

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.

Please see below for a PDF version of this page for your retention:

Inflammatory Bowel Disease website