Martin Searle Solicitors have launched a campaign to end disability discrimination at work, including a free telephone advice serve for employers and employees concerned about their disability workplace rights and obligations.
Their employment law team are concerned that disability discrimination is particularly rampant in relation to mental health issues, continuing to damage the careers of lots of disabled employees, some of whom may have only recently become disabled, according to the Equality Act’s criteria. This highlights both physical and mental impairment, where there is a substantial long-term adverse effect on the individual’s ability to carry out regular day-to-day tasks.
Fiona Martin commented: “It says a lot about the poor state of our working culture that disability discrimination is still a common feature. This is partly due to employers’ lack of knowledge about their duties to make reasonable adjustments. However, we are also seeing employers cynically target employees receiving full contractual pay on long term sick leave. HR Departments are dismissing, without following a fair ill health capability process, and are fully aware that they are not fulfilling their legal obligations in order to save money.”
“We are still encountering cases of disability discrimination on a weekly basis and this appears to be increasing since the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees. Some employers may be aware that fees deter employees from bringing claims. However, what they are not factoring in is the drop in morale when other employees see their vulnerable colleagues treated unfairly.”
Throughout October, expert employment lawyers will provide half an hour of free advice on disability rights in the workplace, rights and responsibilities, including the right to make reasonable adjustments.
Fiona concluded: “Equality in the workplace underpins good employment relations and ensures fairness. Employment disability legislation has been put in place to provide an ‘equal playing field’ so disabled people are not disadvantaged. Unfortunately, this legislation is being ignored.”
For free and confidential advice on disability rights, employers and employees can call Martin Searle Solicitors’ disability legal helpline on Mondays and Thursdays throughout October from 4pm-6pm on 01273 609911, or email firstname.lastname@example.org