Disability discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 places a duty on employers not to discriminate against disabled workers.

Disability discrimination by employers means treating a person less favourably than others because of their disability. It is also a failure to make reasonable adjustments to enable the employee to continue working.

The law defines a disability as a substantial, long-term mental or physical impairment that adversely affects the ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. These are everyday activities such as eating, washing, walking and shopping.

Some health conditions are automatically considered disabilities such as cancer and HIV, but others are specifically excluded such as alcoholism.

The law requires employers to make reasonable changes to working conditions in order to help accommodate a particular disabled person. Furthermore, employers can ask job candidates about their health or impairments to help them attend a job interview.

Employers cannot ask job candidates about their disability for any other part of the recruitment process.

The Equality Act provides legal rights for disabled people in other areas as well as employment.