Disability Discrimination Advice for Employers
Disability discrimination is a serious issue for employers, and businesses must do everything they can to ensure this is not happening in their workplace. If your organisation needs to take action to prevent or defend against a disability discrimination claim, Percy Hughes & Roberts can advise you on what to do next.
Our expert employment law lawyers will advise you on all the reasonable steps your company should be taking to ensure that employees are not discriminated against on the basis of disability. If you have been accused of disability discrimination, we will help you explore your legal options and the most effective way of mounting a defence.
Disability discrimination claims can have serious legal consequences for your business. At Percy Hughes & Roberts, we treat these issues with the utmost respect and are dedicated to helping you safeguard your company’s reputation by taking the right actions in all circumstances.
For expert advice on disability discrimination issues for employers, call us on 0151 666 9090 or submit an enquiry using our online form
What responsibilities do employers have to prevent disability discrimination?
UK law defines disability discrimination as having occurred when an employee is treated less favourably at work because of a mental or physical disability that they have. This is against the law, and failure to prevent this could result in the business being taken to an employment tribunal.
As an employer, you have a legal duty to ensure that people with disabilities are not victimised or subjected to less favourable treatment as a result of their condition. It is also legally required for businesses to make reasonable adjustments to help employees with disabilities fulfil their roles, and to ensure they are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in the workplace.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to accommodating and providing fair working conditions for people with disabilities, as their specific needs will vary depending on the type of disability. This is why it is essential to communicate with and listen to the concerns of disabled staff, in order to make sure they are receiving the support they need.
If your business is deemed to have failed to make reasonable adjustments to prevent disability discrimination, action may be taken against you under the Equality Act. This will likely lead to the organisation having to defend against an employment tribunal claim, and potentially having to pay a fine or compensation to the person affected.
How Can Percy Hughes & Roberts Help You?
At Percy Hughes & Roberts, we are dedicated to helping businesses to fully understand their legal responsibilities to prevent disability discrimination and to provide expert advice on the best way forward if they need to defend themselves against a discrimination claim.
We can support and advise you in the following areas:
- Ensuring your business has comprehensive disability discrimination policies in place, and that they are being measured and followed
- Supporting the training of managerial staff to raise awareness of discrimination issues throughout the whole company.
- Providing legal guidance for companies that have been accused of discrimination by an employee, in order to work towards a solution
- Helping businesses to develop a strong legal defence, including a reasonable steps defence, which argues that all reasonable steps have been taken to stop discrimination or harassment from happening
- Providing legal representation for companies involved in employment tribunal cases
No matter the circumstances of your case, Percy Hughes & Roberts will be able to provide the very best legal guidance to ensure that a fair outcome is achieved and that your company is able to move ahead with a strong and binding commitment to preventing discrimination in your workplace.
Our employment law team boasts years of experience in this field and promises a confidential, friendly, and honest approach to your case, which is essential when dealing with sensitive issues involving discrimination and harassment.
What are the most common types of disability discrimination?
Disability discrimination can take many forms, and can vary in terms of how they impact those affected. All of the following forms of discrimination are considered unlawful:
- Discrimination arising from disability - when an individual is treated unfavourably because of something arising as a consequence of their disability
- Direct - when an individual is treated less favourably than someone else because of their disability in comparable circumstances
- Indirect - when a policy or practice is put in place that has a negative effect on the disabled person more than others in similar situations
- Harassment - when the disabled person is harassed specifically because of their disability, which has a negative effect on their dignity and can create an environment that is hostile, degrading and humiliating
- Victimisation - when an individual is specifically picked on because they have pursued their rights under specific legislation - for example, if they have made a complaint
- Failure to make reasonable adjustments - when the company has failed to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace to meet the needs of a disabled individual
What reasonable adjustments must companies make to support disabled employees?
As an employer, it is your legal duty to make any reasonable adjustments you can implement to support disabled job applicants and employees, in order to help them overcome substantial disadvantages they may have in doing their jobs and progressing at work.
- Making changes to a disabled person’s working patterns or conditions
- Providing additional training or mentoring
- Making alterations to premises with accessibility in mind
- Ensuring that essential information is provided in accessible formats
- Modifying or acquiring equipment to accommodate their needs
- Allowing extra time during selection tests and other tasks
- Assisting with additional costs faced by disabled people at work, including special aids and alternative transport arrangements
Employers are not required to meet every adjustment request they receive, provided they can prove the requested change would not be reasonable or feasible to achieve. However, if it can be proven that they refused to make a reasonable adjustment, they could be liable for legal action.
Contact Percy Hughes & Roberts
For more information and advice on disability discrimination for employers, contact the employment law team at Percy Hughes & Roberts Solicitors. We can advise you on all aspects of disability discrimination law, and are based in Birkenhead, serving corporate clients across the North West, particularly Liverpool, Merseyside and Wirral.
Contact us today to find out how we can help by calling 0151 666 9090, or fill out an online contact form and we will get back to you.