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Employment

Under the DDA, anyone with a disability has a right to fair employment - including people in firms with fewer than 15 members of staff.

The law protects people from the point of interview: If someone believes they were turned down because a prospective employer decided a wheelchair user would pose problems, then that counts as discrimination.

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to ensure people can do their job, such as perhaps supply equipment which improves access to computers.

The Act also covers conditions beyond the physically obvious signs of disability.

For example, if someone tells their manager in confidence they have been diagnosed with a long-term condition, and then they find the company's attitude towards them changes for the worse, that could be discriminatory behaviour.

Someone may have a case for unfair dismissal if their employer lays them off because he or she concludes an office relocation has made the workplace too difficult for someone to reach.

The law asks employers to find reasonable adjustments. In the example of an office move, this may mean physical changes to the property, or perhaps flexible teleworking arrangements. All of this is yet to be decided as the coming few years will see the courts develop case law on what exactly constitutes a reasonable adjustment.

Athletes at a wheelchair repair shop in Athens
Athletes at a wheelchair repair shop in Athens
46% of people of working age who have a disability are economically inactive, compared with 15% of people without disabilities

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