Workplace discrimination is unfortunately as prevalent as it has ever been, with countless instances of targeted harassment and ill-treatment for disabled employees in The United Kingdom alone. Just one of many protected characteristics which must be respected, ableism is perhaps one of the lesser-discussed forms of discrimination but remains no less significant. One of the ways in which ableism can be prevented is by looking out for subtle or concealed forms of it, so read on for more information on these concerning incidents, and the actions taken by Swan Craig Solicitors.
What Is Ableism?
Described formally as ‘discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities, ableism comes in many forms. From planning workplace activities without considering the physical capabilities of disabled employees to using outdated or offensive terminology on a frequent basis, employees and senior stakeholders within a workplace may be guilty of discriminating. Workplace ableism is an offense under the Equality Act 2010, therefore there are legal steps in place to combat such occurrences.
The General Environment
The general environment is one such component to ableism, with an unsuitable setting likely to put individuals with mobility issues, learning difficulties, or visual impairments at a disadvantage compared to their coworkers or colleagues. From entry ramps and the use of braille on signage, to assistive technology and disabled bathroom access, if an employer has shown little interest in incorporating such measures, this can be deemed ableist in nature.
Communication And Interactions
As terminology has evolved, and society has made strides towards accommodating individuals with varied needs and characteristics, certain outdated terms and ideas have become unsuitable and offensive. Though not exhaustive, examples of such terms can be found here, alongside alternative phrases to use without negative connotations. Carrying yourself in such a way that you are approachable to individuals with disabilities is just one part of forming an accepting workplace.
Act On Your Experience With Legal Advice
Do you feel like you have been unfairly treated at work due to a protected characteristic such as your race, age, sexuality or disability? We can work with you as an individual to guide you through all employment law matters – as well as representing you in any consequential employment tribunals. We cover a wide range of matters to help you feel supported in all steps of the process, so act on your experiences today and hold your employer to account.
Putting legal jargon in laymans terms and summarising your options, Swan Craig Solicitors advise on the legalities, and provide practical advice to help you understand the whole picture. Whether the issue in question concerns contract law or discrimination in the office, we clearly set out and what legal advice options are available to you. Contact our team today for more information.