Guidance on employment
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has guidance at www.equalityni.org/Individuals/I-have-a-work-related-problem/Disability.
The website suggests contacting them if you want information or advice.
There is also a Disability Code of Practice: Employment and Occupation (pdf), which may need to be taken into account by courts. This came into effect in 2005 through SR 2005/293, but there is a non-statutory 2013 update (including for the Malcolm case) at pages 2 to 6 of the Code. The 2013 updates are not incorporated into the main text of the Code.
Employment rules in Northern Ireland
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) as amended still applies. Accordingly the main issue, as with NI disability discrimination law generally, is that the scope of disability-related discrimination seems to be limited to direct discrimination, because of the Malcolm case in 2008: see Types of discrimination are more limited in Northern Ireland. Even so it may be prudent to claim disability-related discrimination, in case.
Also because the Equality Act 2010 does not include Northern Ireland, you cannot claim ‘discrimination arising from disability’ or ‘indirect discrimination’ for disability.
Therefore you normally have to try and frame your claim as a failure to make reasonable adjustments, unless it is harassment or direct discrimination. See further Types of discrimination are more limited in Northern Ireland.
The reasonable adjustment duty does very much apply in Northern Ireland (ss.3A(2) and 4A DDA). There are examples of possible adjustments for stammering at Reasonable adjustments: employment. Like in the rest of the UK (on which see Knowledge of disability), the employer is not liable if it does not know, and could not reasonably be expected to know, of the disability and the substantial disadvantage (s.4A(3) DDA).
Example: It may be a reasonable adjustment to allow a job applicant who stammers longer for an interview. Other adjustments may also be appropriate.
More: Examples of reasonable adjustments: Recruitment.
Example: It may be reasonable to reallocate duties so that someone else answers the telephone if the person who stammers does not wish to do it. The also other possible adjustments regarding the telephone.
More: Examples of reasonable adjustments: In the job>Telephone.
“A man with a stammer feels he is being harassed because his manager makes constant jokes about people with speech impairments. He asks his manager to stop doing this, but the manager says he is being ‘oversensitive’ as he habitually makes jokes in the office about many different sorts of people. This is likely to amount to harassment because making remarks of this kind should reasonably be considered as having either of the effects mentioned above [ie violating the disabled person’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him or her].”
Para 4.39, NI 2013 Employment Code of Practice, linked above at Guidance on employment.
Claims go to the industrial tribunal.
Scope of employment protection, eg gig economy, work experience
‘Employment’ (and so ’employee’) is defined in s.68 DDA. It is likely to include ‘workers’ as well as employees, in accordance with cases on the Equality Act 2010 relating to the rest of the UK: see Employers, workers and beyond. Accordingly it will extend to some self-employed people who are not ‘genuinely self-employed’ but are really part of someone else’s business.
Various provisions extend DDA protection to people who are not employees. For
S.4B applies to contract workers. This is broadly where the company you actually do work for is different from your ’employer’. On the equivalent provisions for the rest of the UK, which may have differences, see Contract workers.
DDA s.21A sets out special rules on employment services, such as careers guidance. Employment services include vocational guidance, vocational training, and services to assist a person to obtain or retain employment (or to establish himself as self-employed). The Code of Practice has an example
“A disabled person with a speech impairment requests job advice from his local careers guidance service; he is asked to return next week when there is more time available to meet his needs, although other people, who do not have speech impairments, are being seen there and then. This is likely to be unlawful.”
Para 11.5, NI 2013 Employment Code of Practice, linked above at Guidance on employment.
Exclusion of armed forces
There is an organisation ‘Employers for Disability NI’: www.efdni.org