Countries with robust discrimination legislation describe disability discrimination as treating a person with a disability unfairly or putting them at a disadvantage in the workplace because of their disability. In many countries there are laws that forbid this kind of discrimination in all aspects of the working world including recruitment, pay, assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, employment benefits or any other terms and conditions linked to employment.
Examples of workplace disability discrimination:
Although what is and is not disability discrimination may vary by country there are some common ways in which people with disabilities can be disadvantaged. They fall into two broad categories:
This is where an employee is treated less favourably than other employees because of their disability. For example, dismissing an employee for disability related absence is considered direct discrimination in many countries.
This happens when an organisation has a way of working that will impact people with a disability in a worse way than those without a disability. This is considered unlawful discrimination unless there is a genuine reason for the policy and it is balanced. For example, if a job description requires applicants to have a driver’s licence. While this may be justified if the role is a delivery driver, it may not be the case if the role is an office worker.