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Employment: Disability

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that people with disabilities receive help and support to identify and challenge discriminatory workplace behaviours and practices.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

Any employer who undertakes actions that result in discrimination may be held liable for such behaviour at an Employment Tribunal. Through the Equality Act, employees are protected from victimisation, meaning they should not fear the consequences of challenging discrimination at their workplace, even where no legal case is taken or won.

In 2019 the EHRC published two pieces of guidance; a guide to help employees including disabled staff challenge discrimination at work, and a guide to help employers understand their responsibilities to provide disabled staff with additional support and workplace adjustments. The EHRC also supports disabled individuals who have experienced discrimination to take their cases to court; in 2018 EHRC delivered a Legal Support Project to increase access to justice for people experiencing disability discrimination. It offered groups £189,000 for legal assistance across 94 cases in areas including employment.

Prior to considering legal action, a person who feels that they have been unlawfully discriminated against can contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service or the Equality Advisory and Support Service .

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