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Employees frequently report being unfairly dismissed and discriminated against because of physical disabilities including:

Mobility impairments
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Arthritis
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Spinal Cord Injury
Multiple Sclerosis
Alzheimer's Disease
Cerebral Palsy
Spina Bifida
Cystic Fibrosis
Down's Syndrome
Cancer
Hearing Impairments
Visual Impairments
Diabetes.


To guard against this, your employer must firstly understand what the physical disability is and what reasonable adjustments they must make to help ensure your wellbeing.
 
Your physical disability would usually have been diagnosed but you may find that you have not received sufficient support and equipment to carry out your role effectively. Your employer has a duty to carry out enquiries to ensure that all suitable reasonable adjustments are made to help you in your job.

There are a number of ways that your employer can investigate this including involving Occupational Health and Access to Work through Job Centre Plus. A typical assessment for a member of staff with a physical disability will consider the need for adaptive equipment such as:

  • Ergonomic chairs
  • Adapted work stations
  • Suitable personal hygiene facilities
  • Specialist computer equipment
  • Working from home opportunities
  • Adaptive lighting
  • Hearing loops, adapted telephone equipment
  • Regular rest breaks
  • Flexible hours.

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 physical disability, 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.