The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 came into force for police officers, as members of staff, from 1 October 2004. Being restricted from operational duties does not mean that you are automatically covered by this legislation.

Who Is Covered?

The Act protects a “disabled person”

  • Physical or mental impairment
  • Substantial effect on day to day activities
  • Long term effect (12 months or more)

What Is Meant By Substantial Effect On Day-To-Day Activities?

In order for an Impairment to have a substantial effect on day-to-day living it must affect the ability of the person concerned to carry out normal every day activities such as:

  • Mobility
  • Manual dexterity
  • Physical co-ordination
  • Continence
  • Ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects
  • Speech, hearing or eyesight
  • Memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand


Direct Discrimination -It is unlawful to treat someone less favourably on the grounds of disability unless there is a lawful justification as to why.
Harassment is also unlawful. This is defined as:
When a person engages in unwanted conduct, which has the purpose or effect of violating the disabled person’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him (her).

Reasonable Adjustments

An employer is under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to any ‘arrangements ‘ or physical features of premises if they place the disabled person at a SUBSTANITAL DISADVANTAGE in comparison with person who are not disabled

Examples of reasonable adjustments include:

  • Alteration of premises
  • Altering working hours
  • Supply additional training
  • Provide a reader or interpreter
  • Provide supervision
  • Modify procedures for testing or assessment
  • Reallocation of duties
  • Transfer to a suitable vacancy or another place of work
  • Allow absence for rehabilitative treatment
  • Acquire ort modify office equipment

Important Factors to be considered in deciding whether an adjustment is reasonable:

  • The extent top which the step would prevent the effect in question
  • The extent to which it is practicable for the employer to take the step
  • Financial and other costs and disruption to other activities
  • The extent of the employer’s financial and other resources
  • The availability for the employer of financial or other assistance