An extremely important ruling from the European Court of Justice has recognised that a woman suffered discrimination as a result of caring for her disabled son. One of the most significant things is that this was recognised as a form of disability discrimination. Prior to this ruling, it had been unclear whether a non-disabled person could suffer discrimination on the basis of a disability. This ruling recognises that a non-disabled person may suffer discrimination as a result of their association with a disabled person. As a result:
Every employer will have to look at their recruitment and employment practices and make sure they are not discriminating against carers.
And the implications are even broader, because of the broad way that the ruling was phrased:
Until now, it has not been clear whether you can claim direct discrimination by association in relation to disability – this had only been established when it came to race discrimination.The Advocate-General makes clear that in his view, these same principles would equally apply to direct discrimination or harassment, by association, on grounds of religion or belief, age or sexual orientation.
Cause for celebration, it seems to me. (I don’t know what the law is like on discrimination by association elsewhere in the world, and would welcome information on that!)