DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION SOLICITORS | EMPLOYMENT CLAIMS
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Our specialist employment solicitors provide qualified advice on all matters that are related to work disputes in the United Kingdom including applications for compensation to an Employment Tribunal under The Disability Discrimination Act 1996. No win no fee claims are completely risk free and if you do not win your case, you do not pay any legal fees or expenses whatsoever. If you need free initial advice on disability discrimination compensation claims just use the helpline or send an email or complete the contact form and our expert employment solicitors will be pleased to help you, with no further obligation and no charge.
Disability Discrimination Act 1996
The Disability Discrimination Act 1996 affords those with disabilities the right not be treated unfairly as a result of any mental or physical difficulties from which they may suffer and in particular gives the right to equal opportunities and fair treatment whilst at the place of employment. The statute which is available in full from HMSO defines a person as disabled if they are impaired, physically or mentally and that impairment has a long term or permanent effect on their ability to go about their normal daily activities. Under the terms of the statute employers are required to make reasonable changes in structures to accommodate their disabled employees and this may include ramps, lifts and other necessary equipment.
There are two main ways that an employer can fall foul of the legislation and be guilty of an offence under The Disability Discrimination Act 1996 resulting in payment of very substantial damages which are unlimited in a solicitors disability discrimination compensation claim in front of the Employment Tribunal :-
- When an employer is prejudiced and deliberately treats a disabled employee differently compared to other employees which causes disadvantage.
- When an employer fails to adjust to the reasonable needs of a disabled employee.
Code of Conduct
There is a code of practice published by HMSO called 'Elimination of discrimination in the field of employment against disabled person or persons who have had a disability.' which gives guidelines for employers on the recommended provisions for the employment of disabled persons as well as practical guidance on the work of trade unions to avoid discrimination against disabled employees.
New regulations were published in October 1994 that require changes to be made to the physical structure of business establishments. These regulations are outlined in the HMSO publication "Code of Practice - Rights of Access, Goods, Facilities, Services and Premises." which is aimed at businesses and service providers whose premises discourage disabled people due to difficult or impossible access arrangements.
Disability harassment is effectively defined in the Equality Act and occurs when a person engages in unwanted conduct related to a disability with the effect of violating the disabled person's dignity or by creating an intimidating, hostile degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the victim by remarks or conduct. Whilst harassment usually consists of ongoing offensive behaviour, just one serious incident is sufficient for a complaint to be made and it is not necessary for the victim to complain on every occasion that there is offensive behaviour.
In cases of disability harassment an employer can be held liable for acts by a worker's colleagues (or managers) or by customers or suppliers if the employer fails to take reasonable action once the issue is brought to their attention and events outside work may also be covered by the provisions of the Equality Act which is supplemented by the provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act.
It is not necessary for the offender to mean to cause offense and the mere 'banter' excuse is not sufficient to protect the perpetrator, who will be held liable in the Employment Tribunal or in the Civil Court if the victim is offended by their words or conduct. Case law has dictated that those victims who are hypersensitive to remarks that can be misinterpreted will not be covered by the statutory provisions. Whilst the test on the face of it appears to be subjective this has now been tempered by case law to be an objective test although the victim's interpretation of the questionable words of behaviour is taken into account.