Disability discrimination

Fiona Cuming

Editor's message: People with disabilities are protected in the workplace against discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of their disability. The protection covers actual and prospective employees, and ex-employees.

An important and unique feature of disability discrimination law is the duty to make reasonable adjustments. One of the situations in which the duty is triggered is where an employer adopts a rule or practice that subjects a disabled person to a substantial disadvantage. Under the duty, employers must take reasonable steps to remove that disadvantage.

You may do this by, for example, allocating some of the disabled person's duties to another person; changing their hours or place of work; or modifying disciplinary or grievance procedures. A failure to comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments constitutes disability discrimination.

There is no qualifying period of employment for an individual to bring a claim of disability discrimination to an employment tribunal and no ceiling on the amount of compensation that can be awarded if a claim is successful.

Fiona Cuming, employment law editor

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HR and legal information and guidance relating to disability discrimination.