Is your employee classed as disabled under the Equality Act (2010)?

Determining whether an employee is likely to be considered as disabled under the Equality Act (2010) is important as it means that employers must consider offering reasonable adjustments to that person’s work if there are aspects of their work where they are at a substantial disadvantage, compared to a non-disabled person, due to their health condition or symptoms.

The Equality Act (2010) states that a person has a disability if:

(a)       They have a mental or physical impairment; and

(b)       The impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their   ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities

In order to be classed as disabled under the Equality act, the individual’s condition must satisfy each of the four parts:

(1)       There must be a mental and/or physical impairment

(2)       The impairment must have a substantial adverse effect

(3)       The impairment must be long-term; and

(4)       There must be an effect on normal day-to-day activities

Although there are some conditions that are automatically classed as a disability.

When determining whether or not the individual satisfies the above criteria, the likely effect of the condition without medication or treatment also needs to be taken into account. Therefore, if an individual’s condition is fully controlled on medication, which allows them to lead a normal life with no effect on normal day-to-day activities, this does not necessarily mean that their condition will not be classed as a disability under the Act.

Although it is only a judge at a Tribunal that can determine legally if an individual has a disability as defined by the Equality Act (2010), an occupational health advisor will be able to give an informed opinion, based on their knowledge and experience, on whether or not an individual is likely to be classed as disabled under the Act. In order for this opinion to be given, an occupational health assessment is required in order to establish the full medical picture, including medical history, current conditions, symptoms, treatment, and the impact of their symptoms on their usual day-to-day activities. If you would like help in understanding your obligations with regards to disability under the Equality Act (2010), please call us today.