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Discrimination principles have changed very little following the Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Regulations 2023 coming into force on 01 January 2024.

The legislation adds into our domestic legislation certain provisions of EU discrimination law that would otherwise have fallen away at the end of 2023 due to the Brexit provisions.

Good news! That means everything you knew about discrimination before 01 January is largely the same! This is with one exception – the definition of what classifies as a ‘disability’. There are a few more, but you’ll have to come to our training on 06 February to discuss those (book now!).

Defining disability

Defining what amounts to a disability is obviously important – if a claimant is not disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 then they won’t be able to bring a successful disability discrimination claim. So what’s changing?

In addition to the usual test, the claimant will have to show that they are not able to “participate fully and effectively in working life on an equal basis with other workers who are not disabled”. In principle, this is an additional burden on the claimant who needs to show not only that their condition affects their normal day-to-day activities outside of work, but also now within work.

Here’s what Rena Christou, Halborns Managing Director thinks…

“Usually it’s the claimant’s view they are being treated unfairly at work because of their condition which triggers a claim for disability discrimination. Perhaps they can’t attend a work event or they struggle with early starts – those kind of issues often trigger claims.

Prior to this legal change the tribunal would not be able to consider the claimant’s ability to work when determining whether they’re disabled – a common misconception by claimants. So actually, this misconception is now legally something the claimant will have to show the tribunal if they’re to succeed with a claim.”

That said, any documents or policies referencing the previous disability definition will need to be updated and you’ll need to train your managers on the change. Get in touch if you need our support. 

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.