Examples of specific situations

Multipage Guide

Who is this page for?

  • Employers

Which countries is it relevant to?

    • England


    • |
    • Scotland


    • |
    • Wales


Employment services

An employment service provider must not unlawfully discriminate against people who are using or want to use its services.

In addition, an employment service provider has a duty to make reasonable adjustments, except when providing a vocational service.

For employment service providers, unlike for employers, the duty is ‘anticipatory’. If you are an employment service provider, this means you cannot wait until a disabled person wants to use your services, but must think in advance (and on an ongoing basis) about what disabled people with a range of impairments might reasonably need, such as people who have a visual impairment, a hearing impairment, a mobility impairment, or a learning disability. For example: An employment agency makes sure its website is accessible to disabled people and that it can provide information about job opportunities in a range of alternative formats. It also makes sure its staff are trained to assist disabled people who approach it to find out about job opportunities. 

Occupational pensions

Occupational pension schemes must not unlawfully discriminate against people. There is more information about what this means in the Equality and Human Rights Commission guide: What equality law means for you as an employer: pay and benefits.

In addition, an occupational pension scheme must make reasonable adjustments to any provision, criterion or practice in relation to the scheme which puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with people who are not disabled.

For example:

The rules of an employer's final salary scheme provide that the maximum pension receivable is based on the member's salary in the last year of work. Having worked full-time for 20 years, a worker develops a condition which leads them to reduce their working hours two years before their pension age. The scheme's rules put them at a disadvantage as a result of their disability, because their pension will only be calculated on their part-time salary. The trustees decide to convert the worker's part-time salary to its full-time equivalent and make a corresponding reduction in the period of their part-time employment which counts as pensionable. In this way, their full-time earnings will be taken into account. This is likely to be a reasonable adjustment to make.

Last updated: 29 Jun 2016

Further Information

If you think you might have been treated unfairly and want further advice, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service

Freephone 0808 800 0082

Textphone 0808 800 0084

Or write to them at


Alternatively, you can visit our advice and guidance page.