People with cancer are protected from discrimination by law.
In England, Scotland and Wales, The Equality Act 2010 combined various discrimination laws, including the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), under one piece of legislation.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and its extension, the Disability Discrimination Order of 2006, still protect people with a disability in Northern Ireland.
Under these acts, it’s unlawful for an employer to treat a person less favourably (discriminate against them) because of their disability. Everyone with cancer is classed as disabled under these acts. Even if a person who had cancer in the past has been successfully treated and is now in remission, they will still be covered by these acts. This means their employer must not treat them less favourably for any reason relating to their past cancer.
Which areas of employment are covered by the legislation?
The Equality Act and the DDA cover all areas of employment, including:
- the recruitment process
- terms, conditions and benefits
- opportunities for promotion and training
- when employment has ended.
They also cover treating someone less favourably than other workers because of their cancer. This includes harassment and victimisation.
Both the Equality Act and the DDA require employers to make reasonable adjustments to make it easier for an employee with a disability to work. These are required to remove any substantial disadvantage they face in the workplace because of their cancer, when compared with others who do not have cancer.