The number of disability discrimination claims has risen. Hardly a surprise. I've noticed discrimination claims have increased across the board and this could be for a variety of factors.
Employees need to be employed for 2 years in most cases before they can claim unfair dismissal and so if dismissed before this time has accrued, they may well look at other potential avenues.
Employers should therefore always act fairly and ensure everyone is treated with respect and dignity. It's pretty simple - don't discriminate. In my experience, issues arise because of a lack of knowledge or experience; having untrained managers conducting processes they really shouldn't be conducting.
Employers should be acting properly and fairly towards their employees. Actions should not stem from needing to tick a box and avoid Tribunal but because employers understand the value behind acting in such a way. The more understanding, the easier it will be to adopt and incorporate positive values into the business. From positive action flows positive results.
I have seen cases where doctors' letters, occupational health reports and employee feedback about their mental health have all been wilfully ignored. This is not a good move for employers. Any employer choosing to ignore medical evidence regarding disability is likely to fail miserably at Tribunal.
5 simple tips for employers dealing with disability matters:
1. Listen to the employee
2. Do a bit of research into their condition/symptoms to have a better understanding
3. Give weight to medical evidence - don't ignore it!
4. Make sure medical evidence is up to date
5. Approach any process with an open mind and not a foregone conclusion
The number of disability discrimination claims at Employment Tribunals has risen by 37%, from 4,770 in 2017 to 6,550 in 2018.