There are 9.8 million people with a disability in the UK, which represents one person in seven, and is more than the combined population of Wales and Scotland.
(Source: Disability Rights Commission)
Employers need to understand the responsibilities and the opportunities associated with disability in the workplace.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) it is unlawful for an employer to treat a disabled job applicant, or an employee, less favourably, simply because of their disability; or for a reason related to their disability. It is also unlawful for an employer to harass an employee because of their disability.
The Disability Discrimination Act defines disability as 'a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on [a person's] ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'.
The term disability should be taken to include people with physical disabilities, people with learning difficulties, people with mental health problems, those with sensory disabilities (such as blindness or partial sight), and people with hidden disabilities (such as epilepsy or chest or heart conditions).
Employers also have a duty under the DDA to make reasonable adjustments to prevent a disabled employee from being placed at a substantial disadvantage by any physical feature of the premises, or by any provision, criteria or practice of the employer. This applies to all aspect of employment, including recruitment and selection, training, transfer, career development and retention. >>Return to What is Diversity?<<