The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 makes it unlawful for an employer to treat a person less favourably because of a disability. ‘Disability’ is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Examples of discrimination would be refusing employment or failing to consider for promotion. An employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace such as providing ramps for wheelchair users.
However, an employer can claim that the discrimination is justified in certain circumstances, for example, where there would be a real risk to the health and safety of the disabled person or other workers.
The Disability Discrimination Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person in:
• The supply of goods and services;
• Public transport.