Luton Borough Council was prosecuted by the HSE late last year following an incident at a high school in which an assistant headteacher was attacked by a pupil and left with life-changing injuries.
An issue being brought into public view in the latter part of this decade, thanks to a healthy handful of royals and celebrities, is the existence of hidden disabilities.
Examples of these hidden disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following;
- Depression and mental illnesses
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Dyslexia and other learning disabilities
- Diabetes and epilepsy
- Autism Spectrum Disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Asperger’s syndrome.
Are these conditions “disabilities”?
A “disability” under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) is any condition, mental or physical, that is an impairment that has a substantial long-term effect on the individual’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and Aspergers are all forms of neurodivergence. Neurodiversity refers to the different ways the brain can work and interpret information; most forms of neurodivergence will meet the definition of disability. Similarly, depression and other forms of mental illness will often be covered by the EqA 2010.
Knowledge of the disability
By virtue of their very label, these conditions can be hard to identify, and employers will not always know for certain of their existence. In these circumstances, constructive knowledge – knowledge that a reasonable employer would have, had they made appropriate and exploratory enquiries – is key. There are, however, limits to the exploratory steps an employer can make. Employers are only required to act reasonably and not perfectly!
What obligations do employers have?
An employee with a disability, as defined, is protected from discrimination on the grounds of that disability. Additionally, the employer, once they have actual or constructive knowledge of the disability has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for that disabled employee. In addition, if an employer puts in place a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) that adversely affects an employee with a disability and would similarly affect other employees with the same disability, this could also be indirect discrimination.
What should employers consider doing to address hidden disabilities?
- Create a working environment that is aware of and sympathetic of hidden disabilities, whether mental illnesses or forms of neurodivergence;
- Be aware that certain processes in the workplace may trigger what you would deem to be a disproportionate response; performance management, office move, changing systems etc.
- Recognise that often individuals with forms of neurodivergence have significant strengths over some of their colleagues and focus on those;
- Build good links with other professionals such as occupational health and other healthcare services so that you have confidence in them to assist
This is a key area for employers, so if you would like any further information or advice please contact Libby Hubbard.
This ebriefing looks at the proposal to set out 'public procurement principles' in the proposed procurement legislation.
Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated that there is great resilience and innovation in the housing sector across Greater Manchester, it has also brought shortfalls and other priorities sharply into foc
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.