Carers given right to make compensation claims
Carers will soon be entitled to make compensation claims for disability discrimination following an Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling.
It upheld a European Court of Justice decision that the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) should apply to discrimination against people who act as a carer for a disabled person.
Carers employed in the public sector were already able to make compensation claims for disability discrimination under the EU Framework Directive, but the new ruling extends that right to those who work in the private sector.
The decision came after an Employment Tribunal referred a dispute between Sharon Coleman and her employer Attridge Law to the European Court of Justice.
Ms Coleman alleged the firm discriminated against her because of her responsibilities as a carer to her disabled son and after leaving her job, began action for constructive dismissal and disability discrimination.
The European Court of Justice ruled that the DDA applied to carers, but Attridge Law chose to appeal against the decision.
An Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed the appeal and ruled that UK discrimination laws should give carers the same protection as European laws.
Carers will be given more legal protection against discrimination when the Equality Bill comes into force in 2010.
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