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A modern workforce will employ many staff with a variety of different disabilities and it is important that an employer in no way discriminates against an employee because of their disability e.g. physical disability, visual impairment or dyslexia. Furthermore, an employer must make provision and provide adaptations to prevent an employee with a disability from being discriminated against.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 has given disabled workers protection from being treated less favourably and ACAS have reported that the Act has made it easier for a worker to show that they are disabled and protected from disability discrimination.

The Equality Act states that a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, which would include things like using a computer, reading a book or using public transport.

The employer therefore has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for workers to help them overcome a disadvantage resulting from a disability. The employer has to know, or should reasonably be expected to know that the employee has a disability before they can be expected to consider such changes to the workplace or role.

However, the Equality Act also includes a new provision which makes it unlawful, except in certain circumstances, for employers to ask about a candidate’s health or any disability before offering them work.

For more information on specific disabilities please follow the links below or contact Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall on 0116 212 1000 for free initial advice. We also run a number of free drop-in advice clinics at our offices in Leicester, Wigston & Market Harborough.