It is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of a physical or mental disability or fail to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a worker with a disability. Under the Equality Act 2010 a person is classified as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Day-to-day activities include things such as using a telephone, reading a book or using public transport.
The Equality Act 2010 provides disabled people with protection from discrimination in a range of areas, including in employment and occupation.
This means that employers:
- must not directly discriminate against a person because of their actual or perceived disability, or because they associate with a disabled person
- must not treat a disabled person less favourably for a reason related to his or her impairment, unless that treatment can be justified for example an employer may reject someone who has a severe back problem where the job entails heavy lifting.
- must not have procedures, policy or practices which, although applicable to all workers, disproportionately disadvantage those who share a particular disability, unless these can be justified
- Must make reasonable adjustments in the recruitment and employment of disabled people. This can include, for example, adjustments to recruitment and selection procedures, to terms and conditions of employment, to working arrangements and physical changes to the premises or equipment
- Must not treat an employee unfairly who has made or supported a complaint about discrimination because of disability.
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