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Arthritis can be a debilitating condition that may affect your daily activities, and therefore your ability to work. If your condition has a serious long-term affect it will be covered by the Equality Act as a disability which means your employer cannot discriminate against you as a result of your condition.

Your employer will need to understand how your condition affects you in the workplace so that they can make reasonable adjustments to ensure your wellbeing while you are at work.

Adjustments may include a more flexible approach to working such as:

  • a phased return to work if you have been absent due to your condition
  • flexible working hours, such as being able to start late/finish late
  • help with transport to and from work
  • working from home
  • time off work for treatment or rehabilitation

Your employer may also get advice from an occupational health practitioner who can offer suggestions about returning to work after an absence and other adjustments that could be made to your workplace such as a wrist wrest, ergonomic keyboard and trackball mouse if you work with computers and arthritis affects your hands.  Help is also available from Access to Work through Job Centre 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, 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 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.

If you think you have been subject to discrimination on the basis of arthritis, please phone Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar, or Carrie-Ann Randall on 0116 212 1000 or complete the form on the right. Lawson-West offer free initial consultations so it won't cost you a penny to find out if you have a claim. We also run a number of free drop-in advice clinics at our offices in Leicester, Wigston & Market Harborough.

Lawson-West will make sure that your disability discrimination claim is funded on the most appropriate basis and that will often be on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that Lawson-West have a vested interest in ensuring your employment claim is successful.