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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2007): Services for the disabled - UK

A judicial outcome analysis of the Disability Discrimination Act: a windfall for employers?

O. Konur

Disability and Society, vol. 22, 2007, p. 187-204

This article looks at the effects of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 on the employment of disabled people. In order to access the protection offered by the Act, claimants need to overcome a succession of barriers:

  • They must file claims within three months of dismissal
  • They must prove that they are disabled within the meaning of Section 1 of the Act
  • They must prove that discrimination took place for “reasons related to their disability” as compared with their fellow workers
  • They then face an assessment for financial compensation.

This analysis shows that the first two hurdles have prevented disabled employees from benefiting from the protection offered by the Act. Furthermore, the overall success rate of 63% for employers suggests that the problem lies with the rules themselves, rather than with their application by tribunals and appellate courts.

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