Employment law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against disabled workers. Disability discrimination means treating a person less favourably than others because of their disability. The Equality Act 2010 also seeks to reduce excuses employers may make for not employing disabled workers. It says that an employer should take reasonable steps to help a disabled employee continue working.
For the purposes of employment tribunal and employment law, a disability is a substantial, long-term mental or physical impairment that negatively affects the ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. Employment law allow employment solicitors to argue that some of those normal day-to-day activities include eating, washing, walking and shopping.
Employment tribunals will automatically consider some health conditions as a disability such as cancer and HIV. Other conditions are specifically excluded such as alcoholism.
Employment law requires workplace managers to make reasonable changes to working conditions in order to help a particular disabled person. Furthermore, employers can ask job candidates about their health or impairments to help them attend a job interview. But 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.