Disabled workers, with the right skills and qualifications, not only have the right to work, but are protected under the Equality Act of 2010. It’s illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of their disability.
As a disabled employee, you need to be aware of employment law and your rights in the workplace. Here’s a brief guide to help you understand the duty of care that your employer is obliged to comply with.
You have the right to be treated as favourably as able-bodied colleagues. Your disability cannot be used as an excuse to impede you from carrying out the same duties or applying for promotions.
If your employer makes a decision regarding your employment that you consider is unfavourable, then they must reasonably justify it.
If you are the carer of a disabled person such as a child or partner, you must not be treated unfavourably or discriminated against because of this.
An employer may not treat you unfavourably because they assume you may have a particular disability. For example: an HIV-positive employee should not be treated differently because their employer no longer thinks they are capable of doing their job.
The Equality Act also states that an employer must make reasonable adjustments within the workplace so that a disabled employee can work without impediment. An employer will receive financial support so a disabled employee should never be asked to pay for necessary adjustments.
Physical adjustments may consist of ramps, stairlifts, wider doorways and adequate toilet facilities. Other adjustments may include flexible working hours, modification of equipment, extra training and extra breaks.
If provisions aren’t made, an employer can be found negligent in their duty of care, and also face unlawful discrimination charges.
For more information on employment law and disability rights, contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors today.