Skip to content
Search Our Website 01273 609911 Martin Searle Solicitors - logo

Martin Searle Solicitors

Employee Disability Advice

“A massive thank you for everything you’ve done and for getting such a fantastic result with my disability discrimination case. Your understanding of my illness has made all the difference.”

Disability Discrimination Client

Making Sense of the Law on disability discrimination for employees

The Equality Act 2010 addresses disability discrimination in the workplace. Certain conditions are automatically covered by the legislation from the point of diagnosis, including cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis. Otherwise, protection is granted to those with a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. The law also protects employees who are discriminated against because of the disability of a family member, friend or other people they associate with.

Disability discrimination law can be complex, so it is important to consult with a specialist disability discrimination lawyer if you believe this has happened to you.

Types of disability discrimination

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination at work occurs where a person is treated less favourably due to disability.

Discrimination arising from disability

Discrimination arising from disability is a result of someone being treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of their disability, unless this treatment can be objectively justified. It is not necessary to compare the treatment with someone else.

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination is where a provision, criterion or practice disadvantages people with a disability – including the individual concerned – compared to those without that disability, unless the provision is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Failure to make Reasonable Adjustments

Failure to make Reasonable Adjustments is discriminatory when a provision, criterion or practice is applied, or a physical feature of premises exists, which substantially disadvantages a disabled person. Employers are obliged to make Reasonable Adjustments such as installing equipment, reallocating duties or changing workplace polices.


Harassment is unwanted conduct related to disability which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The harassment need not be because of the person’s own disability for it to be unlawful. There is no defence of justification in respect of harassment.


Victimisation where someone is treated less favourably because of action they have taken under or in connection with the legislation. For example, if someone formally complains of disability discrimination at work or supports someone who is complaining of disability discrimination in the workplace.

How we help employees challenge disability discrimination at work

If you believe you have been discriminated against with regards to pay, working conditions, training, promotion or dismissal we can help. We can also help if you believe you are facing disability discrimination as a job applicant or worker, including problems with a reference. We can advise regarding your employer’s duties to make reasonable adjustments to try and keep you in your job. If an Employment Tribunal is the only option, we can represent you.

Contact us today on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk to find out more.

Additional Content