Where an individual is treated less well than their colleagues owing to their disability, they are the subject of disability discrimination. Disability discrimination and indeed any form of discrimination in the workplace is illegal in the UK. The guiding legislation in this area is the Equality Act 2010, which sets out how instances of disability discrimination are to be dealt with.
It is important to note that disability discrimination can either happen directly or indirectly;
- Direct discrimination is where an individual is being treated less favourably because they have a disability, compared to someone who does not have the same disability but works in the same if not identical environment;
- Indirect disability discrimination is where a workplace has a rule or procedure which is supposed to apply to all members of the workforce, but has a particularly negative impact on individuals who have a disability.
Due to all forms of discrimination, including disability discrimination, being illegal under UK law employers must ensure that they have the procedures and facilities in place to guard against it and to protect employees from being subjected to it. However, if you believe that you have been the subject of disability discrimination the team at Employment Law Edinburgh may be able to help you.
Employer Responsibilities for Disabled Workers
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers must make "reasonable adjustments" to allow workers who have a form of disability to carry out their activities. These alterations needn't be particularly sophisticated. The law simple requires that an employer makes the necessary arrangements to allow its employees have a disability to carry out their function alongside their other colleagues.
If an employer fails to make 'reasonable adjustments' for an employee with a disability e.g. adjusting the hours an individual is required to work or providing specialist equipment to make a job more manageable, or there is some other form of disability discrimination the matter may need to be brought before an Employment Tribunal. The team at Employment Law Edinburgh are experts in the field of Discrimination, and will take the time to listen to your situation and give clear and pragmatic advice on how best to handle your situation.
How can we help?
If you believe that you have suffered discrimination in the workplace as a result of a disability, we can help you get the justice you deserve. We understand that facing problems in the workplace can have a devastating impact on your career, personal life and your finances, so we strive to make getting the legal advice and assistance you need as straightforward as possible. We offer a free initial consultation to help you understand whether you might have a good claim, and we can often work with clients on a no win, no fee basis, meaning that you can pursue your claim without worrying about the cost of upfront legal fees. To discuss your particular circumstances with an expert employment lawyer, call us today on 0131 322 1032 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you without delay.
Disability Discrimination in the Workplace Lawyers, Edinburgh
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees because they have a disability. Where someone is being treated in a less favourable way when compared to their fellow employees because of their disability, they are the subject of Disability Discrimination.
Disability Discrimination can occur in different ways, either directly or indirectly. The Equality Act 2010 is quite comprehensive and prohibits both kinds of discrimination, and sets out how one or the other kind of discrimination will take place. Direct Disability Discrimination will occur where an employee is not treated as well as they should be owing to their disability, when they are compared to a fellow colleague who does not have the same disability but whose working environment is very similar. Indirect Disability Discrimination happens when there are rules in the workplace that are alleged to apply to all employees, but have a distinctly negative impact on employees that have a disability.
Disability Discrimination Protection
Employers are obliged to make the working environment conducive to disabled employees being able to carry out their duties. Employers needn't overhaul their operation, but are simply required by law to construct an environment that allows both disabled and non-disabled employees to work in such a way that neither is marginalised. This in law is called 'reasonable adjustments'. If an employer fails to make these adjustments i.e. providing equipment for disabled employees to work effectively or alter their working practices, or there is some other kind of failing on the employer's part, there may be a claim of Disability Discrimination.
What are some examples of disability discrimination in the workplace?
As specialist disability discrimination lawyers, we come across countless examples of disability discrimination in the workplace. However, outlining some common situations may help you to understand whether you might be successful in bringing a claim against your employer. Examples of disability discrimination in the workplace include:
- Where you have been dismissed as a result of a disability
- Where you have been made redundant as a result of a disability
- Where a colleague or your employer makes an offensive comment about people with disabilities and this is not responded to or dealt with in a proper way
- Where your employer fails to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace to accommodate you and you are unable to access the workplace properly, or you are unable to carry out your duties as a result
- Where disciplinary action is taken against you for situations caused by your disability such as lateness. Your employer must take steps to investigate whether the issue is related to your disability.
How do I make a claim for disability discrimination in the workplace?
It can be difficult to prove that you were the subject of disability discrimination in the workplace, but we will guide you through the process. One of the greatest challenges in disability discrimination cases is proving that the outcome was not as a result of something else. For example, if you have been dismissed, your employer may argue that it was because of negligence or incompetence, and not related to your disability. To make a successful disability discrimination claim you must be able to prove:
- That you have suffered a disadvantage of some kind in the workplace. This could be for example, disciplinary proceedings, dismissal or some other detrimental treatment.
- That the reason you suffered this disadvantage was because of your disability. This can be the sole reason or a contributory part of the reason.
- That you suffered the disadvantage at the hands of your employer or a colleague.
- That other workers or employees that do not have a disability were not subject to the same disadvantage as you, or were treated more favourably than you.
Disability discrimination cases can be challenging, so it is essential that you instruct a team of employment lawyer with experience in handling disability discrimination cases. When you contact us, we will take the time to listen to you and understand your specific circumstances. Your solicitor will then explain all of your options to you clearly and concisely so you understand how best to proceed. We will then gather evidence to support your claim, investigating your circumstances fully to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. To discuss your case with a lawyer that can help, get in touch with our team today. We look forward to hearing from you.
Contact Employment Law Edinburgh Edinburgh Today
If you are concerned that you have been the subject of Disability Discrimination, we at Employment Law Edinburgh are here to help. Our team of lawyers are specialists in the field of Employment law and regularly advise individuals on how to pursue a claim of disability discrimination. We will work in partnership with you, and offer impartial and comprehensive advice on how best to deal with your situation and seek an effective solution to the problem.
Call us today on 0131 322 1032 or complete our online enquiry form or complete our online contact form and one of our specialist discrimination lawyers will get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to helping you move forward in your working life.