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27 What rights do people with disabilities have at work?

If you are disabled, the Disability Discrimination Act (or DDA) prevents discrimination against you in all areas of employment. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a disabled person because they are disabled, in recruitment and selection, during employment and sometimes even after the employment has ended. It is also unlawful for an employer, without justification, to treat a disabled person less favourably at work for a reason related to their disability or fail to make ’reasonable’ adjustments to the work environment to enable a disabled person to work.

If you are disabled and starting a new job, or have difficulties with the arrangements made by your current employer, you should write to your employer explaining your disability and explaining what adjustments you think they should make. You should keep a copy of your letter in case a dispute arises. If your employer says you are not disabled you will need to get medical evidence to show that you meet the definition of a disabled person in the DDA.

The DDA gives you the right to bring a claim against your employer at an Employment Tribunal if you think you have been discriminated against. Applications to the Employment Tribunal must be submitted within three months beginning with the date of your employer’s act of discrimination against you.

If you need help dealing with discrimination or any other aspect of employment, we recommend that you speak to one of our employment advisers on 0845 345 4 345 for specialist advice. Telephone specialist advice is only available if you qualify for legal aid.

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