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Employment FAQs

Disclaimer – please read
This page does not apply outside Great Britain.
Last updated 3rd August 2012.

This page summarises employment rights under the Equality Act 2010. You have these rights if your stammer is a “disability” as defined, or in some cases if you are perceived to have a disability.

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.

Does it affect my rights if I don’t mention the stammer?

  • 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.

How can the ‘Disability Confident’ scheme help?

  • 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.

Can a potential employer ask about my stammer?

  • 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?

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?

Are there any exclusions from the Equality Act?

  • 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.

What if I am not employed by the person?

  • 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..

What happens if I’ve been discriminated against?

  • 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.

Can a disabled person be treated more favourably?

  • 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.

What further information is there?


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