If you have been treated badly at work because of your cancer, you may have been discriminated against. The less favourable treatment must be because of your cancer to allow a claim for discrimination.
Under the Equality Act 2010 you are considered disabled from the moment of diagnosis with cancer. You do not need to show that the condition is long term or has any symptoms .
Your employer must be aware of your condition for you to have a valid claim.
There are a few types of discrimination to consider:
Direct discrimination: where you are less favourably treated because of your condition. For example, you are turned down for promotion because your employer assumes you will need time off for treatment.
Indirect discrimination: where a policy or practice impacts more harshly on you, due to your condition. It doesn’t matter whether your employer intends to discriminate, it is the effect of the policy that’s important. There may be times that indirect discrimination can be justified, for example where the policy is proportionate or necessary.
Failure to make reasonable adjustments
Victimisation: where your employer treats you detrimentally because you enforced your rights, or they believed you intended to. This could include if you bring a legal claim under the Equality Act or give evidence at proceedings.
Harassment: unwanted conduct that creates an intimidating, degrading or offensive environment. For example, if colleagues make offensive comments or jokes about your cancer.
Discrimination may be justified if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
An experienced employment law solicitor can help you to understand how the law applies to your personal circumstances.