What is a Disability?
13 April 2016
Employers have a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled employees. Under the Equality Act 2010, a disability is defined as being “a physical or mental impairment”, which “has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on” the individual’s “ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”
An impairment that fits these criteria will be considered a disability and the employer is therefore be obligated to make reasonable adjustments. The employee will also benefit from protection against unfavourable treatment arising in consequence of their disability. It is often the case that whether a condition is a disability will depend on the circumstances of the individual concerned.
There are, however, certain conditions which are ‘deemed disabilities’. These include cancer, HIV, MS and blindness. Employees with any of these conditions will be automatically considered disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act. Where one of these conditions is present, there is no requirement to meet the definition prescribed under the Act.
There are also various conditions which legislation expressly states are not impairments (and hence not disabilities). Interestingly, these include ‘tendency to set fires’ and ‘tendency to steal’, which is certainly reassuring!
At Alpha, we have a vast experience in providing bespoke, practical advice on HR and employment law issues. This includes advising clients on whether their employees, particularly those on long-term sickness absence, are disabled. We are proud of our commercial outlook and do not sit on the fence. If you would like to have Alpha on your side, please feel free to contact us.
Martin Kaye have provided advice in some highly complex HR matters and they continue to provide our day to day HR advice through their "ALPHA" HR scheme. They offer a very commercial and pragmatic approach and we have always been impressed by the level of service. The members of staff are approachable and easy to deal with.
Eurofilms Extrusion Ltd
Martin Kaye have provided us with employment and HR advice for several years and we have been very pleased with the level of service and quality of advice provided. We have no hesitation in recommending the team to any organisation which wishes to manage its employment related enquiries.
D Wauchope, Company Secretary
McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd
As a large employer of cleaning personnel, we require expert and prompt employment related advice. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" service provides this in a clear and robust manner. We have been extremely impressed with the service and would thoroughly recommend them to any employer requiring expert HR & employment support.
J Conry, Chairman
It is important for us to create a close relationship with our advisors. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" HR service is excellent. It enables us to work closely with our lawyers particularly in the complex area of employment law.
Johnny Hobeika, Operations Manager
Sanita (UK) Ltd
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