We have previously touched on disabilities within this series but it's such a large part of managing absence that it deserves a point to itself.
Firstly, remember that, under the Equality Act 2010, it is against the law to discriminate against someone on the grounds of their disability or perceived disability.
Disabilities, defined under the Equality Act 2010, are not just those that allow an individual to be 'registered disabled' i.e. those who are blind or deaf. The definition of disability under the Act as:
'a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'
You may be sitting there thinking, what does that mean? What does that cover? And that is a really great question. Simply put, there is no exhaustive list that you can look at to say whether a person is classed as disabled under the Act and that is why it's important that all absence situations are managed carefully and sensitively.
The key with this is to treat every case individually and think about the person, rather than the 'condition'. Just because one person has a condition doesn't mean it affects another person in the same way and for that reason, one may be classed as disabled under the Act where another person wouldn't be.
Additionally, continual cases that pass through Employment Tribunals define the law a little more. Therefore the best thing to do, if you are dealing with an absence matter where you feel that a disability may exist, or become likely to exist then seek advice.
PeakHR have many years of dealing with complex absence cases involving disabilities so get in touch for more help and support.