For employment purposes, disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. It covers physical disability, some medical conditions and mental illness. Disability discrimination has been illegal in the UK since 1995, with the law now incorporated into the Equality Act 2010.

This factsheet offers an overview of the different types of discrimination with examples of how this applies to disability discrimination. It suggests good employment practices, such as the ways employers can make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of a disabled individual, and the care needed when asking medical questions in the pre-employment stage. The factsheet also encourages employers to challenge stereotypical thinking and provides recommendations for positive progress as well as an action plan.

CIPD viewpoint

What is disability?

The legal position

Good employment practices


Useful contacts and further reading

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