Disability and Work

Disability and Work

 

It is unlawful to treat a worker unfairly because of a disability. It doesn't matter if the disability is permanent or temporary.

Discrimination against disabled staff may include:

  • dismissal or demotion
  • denying or limiting access to promotion, transfer, bonus pay, training or any other benefits
  • unreasonable workplace policies, practices and procedures.

An employer should provide an employee who has a disability with any special facilities or services to do the job, unless it would cause the employer unjustifiable hardship. These are called reasonable accommodations.

Discrimination can also occur because of a perceived disability. This is when an employer thinks a person with a disability can't do the job, without checking if they can.

It is also unlawful to treat an employee unfairly because of a disability they had in the past or may develop in the future.

Under equal opportunity law, employers cannot discriminate because of a disability during recruitment, retrenchment or while at work. Disability discrimination at work may include:

  • firing or demotion
  • denying or limiting access to promotion, transfer, bonus pay, training or any other benefits
  • unreasonable workplace policies, practices and procedures.

Employers are also liable if staff members discriminate against each other because of disability (see vicarious liability).

Please contact us for advice if you have any more queries.