Disability Discrimination at the Workplace
If an employee has a disability they must be provided with what is termed ‘reasonable accommodation’ by the employer in the work environment, or discrimination at the workplace may arise.
What is considered a disability is broadly described by the legislation but a helpful case describing the concept of a disability is HHD V DAB C335/11 and C337/11 wherein it was stated:
“that the concept of ‘disability’ in Directive 2000/78 must be interpreted as including a condition caused by an illness medically diagnosed as curable or incurable where that illness entails a limitation which results in particular from physical, mental or psychological impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the full and effective participation of the person concerned in professional life on an equal basis with other workers, and the limitation is a long-term one.”.
Disability Discrimination at the Workplace & Reasonable Accommodation
What reasonable accommodation entails and the full obligation on the employer has been subject to much caselaw over the years, but we now have the helpful case of Nano Nagle School V Daly 2019 IESC 63 for clarification and guidance on the extent of employers obligations when it comes to providing reasonable accommodation to an individual who has a disability under S.16 of the Equality Acts.
The Judge held held at paragraph 84 that: “… s.16(3)(b) explicitly identifies the mandatory primary duty of an employer. He or she shall take appropriate measures where needed in a particular case to enable a disabled person to have access to employment, to participate and advance in employment, and to undergo training, unless these measures would impose a disproportionate burden. Section 16(4) then goes on to identify what appropriate measures should be taken. Although the definition is somewhat repetitive and circular, what is identified are effective and practical measures, where needed in a particular place, to adapt the employer’s place of business, including the premises, equipment, patterns of working time, and distribution of tasks, or the provision of training or integration resources, but does not include any treatment facility or thing that the person might ordinarily or reasonably provide for himself or herself”.
The Supreme Court acknowledged that if an employee would not be able to fully undertake the duties of his/her role, even on the provision of reasonable accommodation, then there is no discrimination at issue.
It is prudent for an employer to carry out a two-stage enquiry when deciding upon reasonable accomodation. The factual position in terms of the employees capability needs to be assessed and this includes assessing medical evidence.
Then if it arises that the person is considered not fully capable of completing the role, to assess what special treatment facilities should be made available in order for the employee to become fully capable.
The employee should be allowed to participate in this process and furnish any medical evidence or views of their own.
If this two-stage enquiry does not take place, a procedure regarding dismissal, for example, adopted by an employer may be fundamentally flawed.
Disclaimer – Disability Discrimination at the Workplace & Reasonable Accommodation Article
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute. Legal advice should be obtained from a solicitor prior to relying on anything in this article.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.
Employment Law Articles
- Employment Law Ireland
- Unfair Dismissal Solicitors
- Protected Disclosures
- Constructive Dismissal Ireland
- Redundancy Ireland
- Bullying at the Workplace
- Workplace Harassment
- Discrimination at the Workplace
- Disciplinary Meetings & Fairness
- Deduction from Wages – Employment Law
- Dyslexia Discrimination at the Workplace
- Disability Discrimination at the Workplace
- Discrimination – Interview Process
- Disciplinary Procedure & Unfair Dismissal
- Workplace Investigations Ireland
- Age Discrimination in the Workplace
- Redundancy & Maternity Leave
- Redundancy Ireland Guide
- Redundancy Calculator Ireland
- Selection Criteria for Redundancy & Performance
- Selection Criteria for Redundancy & Genuine Consultation
- Redundancy & Temporary Lay-Offs
- Unfair Selection for Redundancy
- Unfair Selection Process & Redundancy
- Redundancy Selection Fairness & Impersonality
- Redundancy & Consultations
- Redundancy Selection – Alternative Options
- Redundancy Claim Defence – Redeployment
- Retirement Ages & Discrimination
- Sick Leave & Covid-19
- Sick Leave & Dismissal
- Gross Misconduct & Dismissal
- Annual Leave Entitlement
- Dismissal while on Sick Leave
- Calculating Loss in Unfair Dismissal Claims
- Unfair Dismissal Ireland – Probation
- Disability Discrimination Ireland
- Unfair Dismissal Claim – Employee Duty to Mitigate Loss
- Employee Verbal Warning Appeal
- Employer Delays Bullying Investigation
- Epilepsy Discrimination at the Workplace
- Disciplinary Meetings – Employment Law
- Filling out Workplace Relations Complaint Form
- Fixed-Term Employee & Pregnancy Dismissal
- Fixing Retirement Ages
- Statutory Break Entitlements
- Redundancy Selection in Ireland
- Redundancy Selection Criteria Matrix
- Time Limits – Cases
- Student Discrimination
- Severance Agreements & Tax Advice
- Terms of Employment 5 Day Rule
- Text Message & Disciplinary Meetings
- Transfer of Undertaking
- Unfair Dismissal Claim- Dismissal in Dispute
- Compensation for Unfair Dismissal
- Unfair Dismissal Claim & CCTV
- Unfair Dismissal Ireland Claim – Three Pillars
- Workplace Statutory Rest Periods
- Gardai & Employment Disputes
- Gender Dismissal Discrimination
- Grievance Procedures & Constructive Dismissal
- Guide for Employees in Redundancy Selection Process
- Maternity Leave & Salary
- New Postponement Guidelines WRC
- Legal Representation at Disciplinary Hearings
- Part-Time Workers
- Plumbers & Pipefitters
- Pre-emptory Dismissal
- Pregnancy related Discrimination
- Pregnancy related Unfair Dismissal
- Proving Fairness in Unfair Dismissal Actions
- Race Discrimination in the Workplace
- Red Circling Defence
- Workplace Relations Commission
- Employment Notice Periods
- 3 Ingredients to Prove Workplace Victimization
- Christmas Bonus for Employees
- Covid-19 Force Majeure Leave
- Redundancy Ireland & Covid-19
- Defence to Disability Discrimination Claim Ireland
- Workplace Discrimination – Gender & Family Status ground
- Discrimination on a Licensed Premises
- Discrimination in Schools
- Employers Guide to Defending Unfair Dismissal Ireland
- Temporary Lay-Off & Covid 19
- Temporary Lay-off & Non-Payment of Wages
- Severance Agreement & Legal Advice
- Unfair Dismissal Claim – Mitigating Loss
Need Legal Advice ? No Problem. Contact Us Today !
We help people injured due to negligence* attain restitution to their pre-accident position, as much as is possible, for the pain, suffering & financial loss, by seeking damages from the negligent party on their behalf.