For UK employment purposes, disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. It covers physical and mental conditions. Disability discrimination law is now part of the Equality Act 2010.
This factsheet looks at the different types of disability discrimination. It suggests good employment practices to ensure everyone has fair access and opportunity to progress in work including the legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments to help avoid substantial disadvantages for those with physical or mental health conditions at work. It also encourages employers to challenge stereotypical thinking and provides recommendations for positive progress.
Explore our viewpoint on disability equality at work in more detail, along with actions for government and recommendations for employers.
This factsheet was last updated by Dr Jill Miller: Senior Diversity and Inclusion Adviser, CIPD
Jill’s role is a combination of rigorous research and active engagement with policy makers, academics and HR professionals to inform projects and shape thinking on key inclusion and diversity issues. She frequently presents on people management issues, leads discussions and workshops and is invited to write for trade press as well as offer comment to national journalists.
Explore our collection of resources around legal issues relating to sex discrimination in the workplace, including pregnancy and maternity discrimination
Explore our collection of resources around legal issues relating to religion and belief discrimination in the workplace, including philosophical beliefs
Explore our collection of resources around legal issues relating to disability discrimination in the workplace, including Q&As and relevant case law
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Disability Confident employer
The CIPD is a Disability Confident Leader. We work with the DWP and lead the way in changing attitudes towards disability, and to encourage all employers to provide opportunities to ensure that people with disabilities and those with long-term health conditions are able to fulfil their potential at work. We regularly review our own people practices and approaches to ensure that our workplace is as open, diverse, accessible and inclusive as possible.