disability law

Technically speaking, there is no specific area of law known as disability law, but disabled rights do form part of a wide variety of cases which can include employment law, personal injury and breach of contract to name but a few.

Disabled rights are now enshrined in the Equality Act but the issue remains contentious and a difficult area of law, because each case tends to turn on it’s own facts. Just classifying disability is difficult in many cases, in the sense that many conditions, especially those which are not immediately visible such as mental health issues, may not easily be long term or having a significant day to day impact, which are some of the main features of the legal definition of disability which results in employers having to make reasonable adjustments.

Then there is the issue of what constitutes a reasonable adjustment and that, in itself will also vary, dependent upon factors including the size and resources of employer.

As with many employer legal requirements these days, the devil, as the saying goes, can be in the detail, and employers can be caught out by less obvious issues. With disability law, the employer must be extremely careful at the interview stage. Many employers do not know that they can be liable for disability discrimination even if they do not employ someone. Care must be taken not to ask the wrong questions at interview or to discriminate against a prospective employee.