The Equality Act 2010 and Employer's Liability

The Equality Act 2010 is the UK law that ensures that people with protected characteristics do not suffer from discrimination compared to others . (In Northern Ireland the DDA 1995 still applies).

For a condition to be considered disabling and therefore covered under the Equality Act or the DDA in Northern Ireland it needs to have the following characteristics

  1. Be substantial, ie more than minor of trivial
  2. Long term, ie likely to last more than one year
  3. Affect normal day to day activities

The definition of what is reasonable is for the employer to decide what they can reasonably afford to carry out, taking into consideration commercial imperatives and the relative resources of the company.

If an employee has a disability/protected characteristic as defined under the Act (and determined by a tribunal )it is unlawful for a company to subject the employee to less favourable treatment compared to a non-protected employee.

The employer has an obligation to seek independent competent advice on how to support “protected" employees in the workplace.MOHS can provide this advice based on sound medical evidence and give reasonably practicable solutions to common workplace problems.

This can include:

  • Changing particular duties
  • A planning rehabilitation programme
  • Modifying the way a job role is structured
  • Providing re-deployment to another role
  • Allowing time off for rehabilitation

If an employee believes that they have been discriminated against; they may be able to bring forward action via an employment tribunal. There is no upper limit on compensation in discrimination cases. A referral to MOHS will demonstrate that the employer has satisfied their obligation to seek independent advice to support an employee with a protected characteristic.

MOHS will advise your business on all aspects of the equality act 2010.

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