Employment Compensation: Disability Discrimination

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In Health
Jul 21st, 2015
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Disability Discrimination Act 1996

Equal opportunity in employment is guaranteed by statute and in the case of disability discrimination, that statute is the Disability Discrimination Act 1996 (DDA). That Act, although amended and revised several times, has stood the test of time in providing fair treatment to thosewith disabilities in the workforce. The Act covers both physical and mental impairments. According to the Act, workers with limitations caused by impairment or disability must be provided fair and equal consideration in every facet of employment, from recruiting to training, in promotion eligibility and in the terms and conditions of employment, such as pay and benefits; equal opportunity is their guaranteed right.

The Act defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that is long-term or permanent and that impairment affects the individual’s ability to perform routine daily living functions. The Act outlines various responsibilities and requirements for employers and businesses. Making reasonable alterations to remove barriers to access businesses and places of employment, such as installing a ramp are required by the Act.

Violations

The DDA spells out many violations that impede disabled workers. One violation is when employers deliberately deal with employees who are disabled in a manner different from others, when these actions place a disabled employee at a disadvantage, for example during promotion considerations. Another discriminatory practice is negligence in failing to abide by the tenants of the Act when an employer fails to make expected renovations to allow access and meet the disabled employee’s needs.

HMSO – Code of Practice

A code of practice entitled the “Elimination of discrimination in the field of employment against a disabled person or persons who have had a disability”is published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO).The code’s intended purpose is providing guidance for employers and trade unions in making provisions that eliminate practices and policies from hiring procedures that are discriminatory toward persons with disabilities.

The “Code of Practice – Rights of Access, Goods, Facilities, Services and Premises” outlines four options, “removing, altering or avoiding a physical feature, or providing the service by alternative means.” It does not mandate which option a business or employer must use, but suggests that removing the barrier is the most sensible long-term alternative.

Consultation for Legal Advice

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of discrimination due to a disability should instruct a skilled employment law specialist. It takes years of experience to deal with the delicate nature of workplace discrimination or discriminatory employment practices. A knowledgeable solicitor will examine an employer’s policies, if you were denied employment, promotion, benefits, or unfairly dismissed from employment and inform you if those policies or a given action violates the DDA or the supplemental Code of Practice.

The solicitor should also make use of the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), more commonly referred to as the “No win no fee” scheme. This no risk approach to handling employment law claims allows the solicitor and the client to agree on a fixed percentage of the compensation award as the fee for representation. If no compensation is awarded, no fee is due. Utilising this approach allows the client the flexibility to pursue a claim without the worry of upfront fees, hidden costs or surprise expenses. For More Information Visit: Employment Compensation

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