Disabled Workers

Speak with our HR advisors:
Quick Facts

29th November 2023

  • The Equality Act 2010 prohibits employers from discriminating against disabled people in employment, education and access to both services and premises. Employers’ Duties

  • Discrimination occurs where one person is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic. Definition of Discrimination

  • Emphasis is placed on reasonableness, ie employers must provide reasonable access for disabled persons both to and in the premises, as well as making reasonable changes to work tasks for disabled employees. Reasonable Adjustments

  • Employers should assess the needs of disabled workers and visitors before deciding on adjustments to be made.

  • Less favourable treatment of a disabled person or a failure to make a reasonable adjustment can be justified if this would endanger the health and safety of any person, including the disabled person in question. Health and Safety Considerations

  • Employers should manage the employment needs of all disabled workers in that organisation without discrimination, but with full consultation. The needs of the temporarily disabled should also be accommodated. Employers’ Duties

  • The employer should consider what a disabled person cannot do or can only do with difficulty, rather than what the disabled person can do. The assessor should look beyond the disability and consider which task or workplace adaptations are required to allow a disabled employee to carry out work in a near-normal way.

Summary

There are around 9.6 million people of working age with disabilities in the UK, roughly 20% of the working age population. Of these, 4.9 million were in work in 2022.

As this topic explains, the key statutes affecting disabled workers and visitors are the Equality Act 2010 and the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010. The regulations supplement provisions in the Equality Act 2010 that provide protection from discrimination for disabled people. They help to define who is a disabled person for the purposes of gaining the protection of the Act, and supplement provisions in the Act that require reasonable adjustments to premises to be made for disabled people.

Want to read more?

This content requires a Croner-i subscription.

No Subscription?

Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Call an Expert:

0800 231 5199

Talk to us on

live chat

Case Reports

AECOM Ltd v Mallon

The duty to make reasonable adjustments in connection with a disability arises even when the disabled individual fails to respond to an email request for further information, where the employer is aware of the disability and has the means to communicate with the individual in another way (such as a phone call rather than an email).

Learn More
Shah v TIAA Limited: UKEAT/0180/19/BA

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has found that permitting an employee to work from home at a monetary loss to her employers could not be considered a reasonable adjustment.

Learn More
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust v Sanders - Disability discrimination: assessing disability

The tribunal in this case used its own web research as evidence that the claimant was disabled, causing the case to be remitted to a fresh tribunal on appeal. Employers should avoid falling in to the same trap when assessing disability.

Learn More

There are around 9.6 million people of working age with disabilities in the UK, roughly 20% of the working age population. Of these, 4.9 million were in work in 2022.

As this topic explains, the key statutes affecting disabled workers and visitors are the Equality Act 2010 and the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010. The regulations supplement provisions in the Equality Act 2010 that provide protection from discrimination for disabled people. They help to define who is a disabled person for the purposes of gaining the protection of the Act, and supplement provisions in the Act that require reasonable adjustments to premises to be made for disabled people.

Managing a Disabled Employee - Workflow

Quick Facts

In-depth