Our Employment Law Solicitors can help you if you’ve suffered from discrimination at work because of a disability.
We’ll offer you free initial legal advice on your situation and help you to understand if you have a discrimination claim against your employer.
At the beginning of your claim, we’ll tell you about all the options available for funding your claim so you have all the facts and can make an informed decision.
We’ll handle the claim for you, giving you the expert help and support you need to make a disability discrimination claim against your employer. Our advice is open, honest and without legal jargon.
For free initial legal advice get in touch with our Employment Law Solicitors.
More Information on Disability Discrimination at Work
Disability discrimination has been unlawful at work since 1995 and this is covered in The Equity Act 2010. The legislation provides legal protection for workers at three stages. They are:
- Job applicants applying for a position
- Employees whilst in an employment relationship
- When your employment ends
No one should receive less favourable treatment for any reasons connected to a having a disability.
What is the Definition of a Disability?
A person gets protection from disability discrimination when they are classed as disabled. The rules in the Equality Act are designed to help disabled workers get a job and keep it and to be able to seek redress if they lose their job because of their disability.
Protection for people with a disability is based upon the statutory definition of a disability.
The definition says a disability:
- Is a physical or mental impairment and
- It has a substantial long term adverse impact on date to day activities
You don’t need a formal diagnosis for your disability, but if you do make a disability discrimination claim against your employer, that will help.
Some medical conditions are automatically treated as being a disability. These include conditions such as a cancer diagnosis, but in most cases, the definition above must be satisfied to make a claim for disability discrimination at work.
It’s worth understanding the definition in greater details so you can be clear about what it means.
‘Substantial’ means more than minor. If you can show the seriousness of your problem, this will help. For example, ‘I cannot walk far’, compared to ‘I cannot walk more than 50 metres without needing rest’ shows how more detail can add value and show that your problem is substantial.
‘Long Term’ can include recurring health conditions, but usually reflects conditions which have lasted 12 months, are likely to last at least 12 months or are likely to last for the rest of a person’s life.
The key thing to note with ‘adverse impact’ is that it is an adverse impact on day to day activities, not necessarily an impact upon the ability to work. When one of our Employment Solicitors or Lawyers helps you to prepare a disability statement, a list of examples of the impact on your day to day life will be important if the status of your disability is disputed by your employer.
Types of Disability Discrimination at Work Claims
The types of disability discrimination claims against an employer are:
- Direct discrimination
- Indirect discrimination
- Discrimination arising from a disability
- A failure to make reasonable adjustments
The claim types above apply to all disabled workers but in addition to being discriminated against at work because of a disability, you may find that you’ve been dismissed because of your disability.
You can make a disability discrimination claim without a minimum length of service, but if you have been working for your employer for more than two years, you can also make an Unfair Dismissal claim.
This claim for unfair dismissal could be linked to the potentially fair reason for dismissal of capability. Capability dismissals usually happen because you are off on long term sick leave or you’ve had warnings because of repeated short term absences.
Reasonable Adjustments at Work
You can make a disability discrimination claim against your employer if they fail to make reasonable adjustments to help you whilst you’re at work. These could be relatively simple adjustments such as providing you with a special keyboard or chair to more complex adjustments such as a wheelchair.
The key word here is ‘reasonable’. If you bring a claim against your employer because they have failed to make reasonable adjustments for you, you will need to show that your requests were reasonable. Asking an employer with only three staff to build a ramp for your wheelchair may not been seen as reasonable, but asking for a new chair to help your bad back could be.
Reasonable adjustments are not only about physical changes to a work place, they can also involve working arrangements such as working hours, working days, work duties and more.
Making a Disability Discrimination Claim
You can make a claim against your employer for disability discrimination whilst you are still employed. You don’t need to wait until you leave or are dismissed.
There are strict time limits for disability discrimination claims. This is usually three months from the date of a discriminatory act, the last in a series of acts, or three months from dismissal. Understanding the rules around time limits is difficult in discrimination claims. Getting expert legal advice from an Employment Law Solicitor as early as possible is essential.
Before starting a disability discrimination claim you will need to complete the Early Conciliation process through ACAS. The time limits are paused while this process takes place. The Early Conciliation process is designed to try to reach an agreement before you end up at an Employment Tribunal.
If Early Conciliation doesn’t work and you make a claim, it will be heard before an Employment Tribunal. The Judge may award financial compensation, including for loss of earnings, and importantly compensation for injury to feelings. Each award will depend upon the facts of each case and as there is no cap on the amount of compensation, so the awards can be substantial.
Simpson Millar’s team of Employment Solicitors and Lawyers have years of experience advising on disability related cases and winning Employment Tribunal claims.
Our role is to provide a strategy to meet your particular needs. We can help you to address in-work problems or get you the best compensation possible if you’ve been unfairly dismissed.
We’ll consider all funding arrangements, including No Win, No Fee if this is suitable. Speak to one of our experienced Employment Law Solicitors today and protect your rights.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.