We are getting more and more cases of people coming to us saying that they have been refused entry into a shop for not wearing a face covering.
Although the Government Guidelines clearly state that you do NOT have to wear a lanyard or prove your disability, a lot of supermarkets are taking it upon themselves to police this legislation...but where does this become illegal?
As quoted from Chris Fry from Fry Law -
"Section 26 of the Equality Act 2010 sets out the definition of harassment as follows insofar as is relevant:
(1) A person (A) harasses another (B) if—
(a) A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and
(b) the conduct has the purpose or effect of—
(i) violating B’s dignity, or
(ii) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B..
(4) In deciding whether conduct has the effect referred to in subsection (1)(b), each of the following must be taken into account—
(a) the perception of B;
(b) the other circumstances of the case;
(d) whether it is reasonable for the conduct to have that effect.
Harassment is a broad concept – in the context of disability employment, it has been held to encompass the suspension of a staff member for failing to undertake a particular course where this was considered to be unwarranted (see Prospects for People with Learning Difficulties v HarrisUKEAT/0612/11/DMUKEAT/0612/11/DM); and in services, the treatment of a wheelchair user by implying that she would damage a lift (see Samuels v Corn Exchange Theatre Company Peterborough County Court).
There is no comparator for treatment (against non-disabled customers), it must simply have been “related” to disability.
Whether the way you’re treated amounts to harassment will depend upon the precise words used and the tone; whether this was within ear shot of people and what the words used were said in response to.
So, if your exchange with shop staff leads to their raised voices, or humiliation in front of others, there is certainly the basis for a claim of harassment."
Please click the link to see the full article. If anyone believes that they have suffered at the hands of disability discrimination, please contact us - https://www.frylaw.co.uk/archives/articles/hostile-environment-policies-a-proportionate-aim-of-achieving-a-legitimate-aim/