If you are considering dismissing a disabled employee, whether under a disciplinary, absence management or redundancy procedure, you should always consider whether a reasonable adjustment can be made either to the relevant procedure itself, or to other aspects of the workplace or to working arrangements. A failure to comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments could amount to an act of disability discrimination.
The Disability Code of Practice
, particularly chapters 5 and 8, provides guidance about how the reasonable adjustment duty applies.
If you are considering dismissing a female employee, whether under a disciplinary, absence management or redundancy procedure, the employer must avoid committing acts of pregnancy or maternity leave discrimination.
You have a statutory duty in relation to employees who are taking maternity leave. If you are considering making an employee on maternity leave redundant, and it is not practicable by reason of redundancy for you to continue to employ them under their existing contract, then you must offer them any suitable alternative vacant post, if one exists.
You should be aware that using length-of-service as a selection criterion may place younger employees at a substantial disadvantage compared to older ones, and this may therefore be age discrimination. If this is likely to occur then the criterion should be objectively justified, or otherwise abandoned.
This type of selection criterion may also have a discriminatory impact where you have been using lawful affirmative or positive action measures to successfully increase the level of representation in your workforce of groups who have been historically underrepresented. Where such a criterion is likely to have a disproportionate impact of this kind, then again it should be objectively justified, or should otherwise be abandoned.