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Is it harassment and discrimination to suspend someone due to a consequence of their disability?

Harassment and disability discrimination

In this episode of the podcast I summarise the facts and law concerning a case involving a trainee teacher who was suspended due to the fact that he could not write for more than a couple of minutes. The employee, who had been diagnosed with dyspraxia, claimed disability discrimination, harassment and constructive unfair dismissal.  

In this episode I will cover:

  • Section 26 of the Equality Act 2010 which covers the law regarding harassment.
  • A breakdown of the considerations that will be made by the Employment Tribunal when assessing harassment.
  • The conclusion of the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal in this case.
  • Assurance for employers that you can have difficult conversations with employees who are not capable of undertaking the job as a result of a disability.
  • Why obtaining an occupational health report is essential at an early stage.
  • Why making a decision in respect of the adverse effects of a disability does not constitute direct discrimination.

Action Points

  1. If you have concerns about an employees fitness for work then seek medical advice as soon as possible.
  2. If an employee has a disability then you will need to make adjustments and consider what can be done to assist them.
  3. Understand the any decision making with regards to disabled employees carries a risk, regardless of their length of service.
  4. Seek legal advice before making any decisions.

Useful Links

Ahmed v The Cardinal Hume Academies – Employment Appeal Tribunal

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice below. Please ensure that any comments are respectful to all views and opinions.

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion – alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don’t forget you can contact us by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

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The information contained in this Podcast and post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

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