Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (the “DDA”), which made it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people in relation to employment. That protection is now found in the Equality Act 2010, which brought together several pieces of legislation into one Act designed to provide a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals.
The DDA is seen as a defining moment in the campaign for disability rights and equality, however campaigners have called for much more to be done to protect disabled people not only in employment but in all areas of society. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Charity (which looks at social change and seeks to address UK poverty) recently published research showing that only around half of disabled people are in work and of those who are, they tend to work fewer hours and are more likely to be lower paid.
The legal system has an important role to play in bringing equality to the workplace and there have been a plethora of cases in the Employment Tribunal over the past year which have tested the scope and limits of the Equality Act when it comes to protecting the rights of disabled people at work. Some of our team’s blogs giving a flavour of those cases are linked to below: