Link to BSA website: BSA’s ‘At work’ (stamma.org) section has guidance on matters beyond your legal rights.
How far is employment covered?
- Practically anything to do with employment is covered by the Equality Act, including recruitment, promotion, transfers, dismissals, redundancy, training or other benefits, or subjecting a person to any other detriment. (EqA s.39)
- Victimisation for getting involved in a claim is also covered.
What are the rules on recruitment and promotion?
- There is a right to reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process.
- Turning down a job applicant for a discriminatory reason can also be unlawful.
- See Recruitment and promotion.
- Sometimes claims under the Equality Act are reduced or may not apply if the employer has not been told. But this is not necessarily so.
- Employers who have signed up to level 2 of the Disability Confident scheme guarantee disabled people an interview if they meet the minimum job criteria.
- Disability Confident replaces the ‘Two ticks’ or disability symbol scheme which also offered a guaranteed interview.
- The Equality Act 2010 introduced restrictions on how far an employer can ask about an applicant’s health or disability before a job offer.
Does stammering mean I can’t do some jobs?
- Everyone is better at some things than others, and stammering may be a factor in what one can do.
- However, some people who stammers have excellent communcation skills, even if they are not speaking fluently.
- The reasonable adjustment duty may help in overcoming diffculties with a job.
- If an employer turns down a job applicant for a reason arising from a disability, it is for the employer to show this was proportionate (discrimination arising from disability).
- You may be interested in these examples of jobs done by people who stammer.
How can the Equality Act apply when I have a job?
- Regrettably there is still sometimes bullying or harassment of people who stammer in the workplace. This is unlawful under the Equality Act.
- Also the right to reasonable adjustments can be important to help deal with any difficulties related to the stammer.
- See In the job.
What about losing one’s job?
- As well as the Equality Act, other types of claim – particularly unfair dismissal – can be important here.
- See Losing one’s job.
Are there any cases on stammering?
- Yes, quite a few. See Cases on stammering.
- Service in the armed forces is excluded.
- Volunteers are only covered in limited circumstances.
- An old exclusion for small employers was abolished in 2004.
- There must be sufficient link with Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). Separate legislation applies to Northern Ireland.
- Some self-employed people, contract workers and many others have rights under the Equality Act.
- There are also rights against people who are not employers, such as trade unions, professional organsations and bodies responsible for professional exams..
- You can call or email the Equality and Human Rights Commission helpline, and there are other Sources of help and advice.
- It may be possible to use an employer’s internal procedures, ACAS conciliation, or more informal means to settle a dispute. Otherwise there is the possibility of going to an employment tribunal. See Resolving disputes.
- The main remedy for breach of the Equality Act is compensation. A tribunal can also make recommendations. See Remedies.
- It is permitted to treat disabled people more favourably than non-disabled.
- However it may be unlawful to favour one disability over another, unless an exception applies, such as ‘positive action’.
Is the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) still relevant?
- The DDA no longer applies to employment. The Equality Act 2010 replaced it as from October 2010.
- However, cases on the DDA are still very important in interpreting the similar provisions in the Equality Act.
- There is guidance on the Equality Act, including a statutory Employment Code of Practice which tribunals must take into account.
- See the British Stammering Association’s ‘At work’ (stamma.org).
- Time to talk: Stammering in the workplace (pdf) is an article by me published in ‘Occupational Health at Work’ journal, October 2010.
- See my page: Employment: Links.