What is discrimination arising from disability?

The definition of discrimination arising from disability is contained within s.15 of the Equality Act 2010. The definition is as follows:

“A discriminates against a disabled person (“B”) if –

(a) A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B’s disability; and

(b) A cannot show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.”

How is disability defined?

Please see this page for a definition of disability.

What is unfavourable treatment?

Unfavourable treatment, unlike direct discrimination, does not require that the treatment afforded to you, the disabled person, be compared with the treatment afforded to other, non-disabled workers. It’s simply necessary to show that the treatment has put you at a disadvantage.

What does “arising in consequence” mean?

“Arising in consequence” means anything which is the result, effect or outcome of your disability. This could be the need to eat at certain times of the day, to use certain equipment (medical or otherwise) in your workplace, or to take injections at certain times of the day.

What defences are there to a claim under s.15?

Your employer (or past employer) can justify the treatment afforded to you by showing that it was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. Your employer would therefore have to show that it had taken steps to ensure that the measure which placed you at a disadvantage (such as a failure to provide sign language training to aid a deaf person in the workplace) was addressed. This would normally entail a consultation with you.

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