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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Would I have a discrimination claim under the Equality Act

Customer Question

Would I have a discrimination claim under the Equality Act if a recruiter expresses enthusiasm for my application but rescinds said enthusasiam and directly informs me I cannot be considered for the job once they discover I have a hearing loss (discover by asking me to call them to discuss the job and process and my response that I need to correspond by email because I have a hearing loss). All of these jobs can easily make reasonable adjustment around telephone use).
Regards,
Mathew Slade
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
What is the nature of the position?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello, Ben,It has happened on more than one occasion; they are office based job roles such as Insurance, Foreign Exchange and property consultancy.All of them could be placed with me with reasonable adjustment - my own CV they are working from shows my experience of being sole director of a £1 million plus turnover start up I started in my second year of university. Clearly evidencing my capabilities. This is where I have had good reception and requests to discuss with them via telephone.Cheers
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Hello Matthew, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied last night. The first thing you need to establish is whether you have a disability as per the definition in the Equality Act and to be honest I do not think you would have a problem with that. In the legal sense of the word, disability can have a broad meaning and there is no single list of medical conditions that qualify. Instead, to establish whether a person is disabled, they need to show that they meet the legal definition of a ‘disability’. The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. I will break this definition down:Physical or mental impairment – this can include nearly any medical condition;Substantial effect – the effect must be more than minor or trivial;Long-term - the effect of the impairment must either have lasted or be likely to last for at least 12 months;Normal day-to-day activities – these could include anything considered ‘normal’ in a person's normal daily routine (e.g. walking, driving, speaking, eating, washing, etc.) If a person satisfies the above criteria, they will be classified as being disabled and will have automatic protection against discrimination, which means that they must not be treated unfavourably because of their disability. In addition, their employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if they are likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees. All of this also applies to prospective employees. Therefore, if a prospective employer does not treat you fairly in the application and selection process because you have a disability then they may indeed be guilty of discrimination. They should not decide to overlook your application just because you have a disability and doing so could indeed be discriminatory, which you can challenge further if needed. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can take to take the matter further if needed, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45359
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** have left a rating as requested.To confirm, my disability is a profound sensorineural hearing loss - essentially as far down the road as being deaf will take you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** no doubts that it will be a disability. In the circumstances you may contact the employer directly to remind them of their duties under the Equality Act and ask them to reconsider their position. If they refuse then you can consider pursuing them for compensation for injury to feelings in the employment tribunal due to the discriminatory behaviour you were subject to. You have 3 months from the date it happened to make a claim. A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal. If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here: https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you, ***** *****'s great. I think I mentioned in my first question I'm dealing with recruiters - are they treated as an employer would be? Is the redress the same?Best regards,
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
yes they would

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