My issue is about disability

What is disability in relation to the workplace?

The law which deals with disability in the workplace is the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2015 (EEA).

It defines disability in a particular way.  It applies to:

  • The total or partial absence of a person’s bodily or mental functions
  • Chronic disease or illness
  • The malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person’s body;
  • A condition that results in a person learning differently from a person without that condition
  • A condition that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgments, or which results in disturbed behaviour

EEA also covers people who have long-term disabling conditions which may get worse over time, as well as people who used to have a disability but do not have it any more.

Example An employer refuses to promote a person who had experienced a mental health problem in the past.

The law says that employers must take appropriate measures to meet the needs of workers and job applicants who have disabilities.  This means employers should put in place practical measures that ensure that people with disabilities have what they need, so that they can do the job like other people.

Employers do not have to hire, promote, retain or provide training for a person who is not capable of doing a particular job.  But they cannot decide that the person is not capable without considering if there are appropriate measures which would support the person to do the job. However, employers do not have to take measures if these would place a disproportionate burden on the employer.

Do you think this kind of discrimination has happened to you?