Explore the legal aspects of disability discrimination and the issues employers should consider when dealing with disabled people
The main piece of legislation governing disability discrimination in Great Britain is the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) which came into force on 1 October 2010 replacing the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and the numerous statutory instruments which amended and supported that Act.
These Q&As focus on the employment relationship and the duties owed by employers towards employees. However, disability discrimination is a vast subject area and extends far beyond the employment relationship, for example to duties owed by educational establishments and provision of services to the public. Under the Act, Parts 2 and 5 deal with employment matters, whereas other parts address other spheres. Part 3 deals with provision of services, goods or facilities or when exercising a public function, Part 4 deals with selling or letting or managing premises and Part 6 deals with education and so forth.
The Act is supplemented by a statutory Code of practice on employment law which may be used in evidence in legal proceedings brought under the Act. Employment tribunals take the code into account.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) website also has a wide range of information on discrimination law, including disability discrimination.
Information on disability discrimination in Northern Ireland is available on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland website.
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Disability Confident employer
The CIPD is a Disability Confident employer. We work with the DWP and lead the way in changing attitudes towards disability, and to encourage all employers to provide opportunities to ensure that people with disabilities and those with long-term health conditions are able to fulfil their potential at work. We regularly review our own people practices and approaches to ensure that our workplace is as open, diverse, accessible and inclusive as possible.