The following Employment Q&A produced in partnership with Peter Edwards of Devereux Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The order for a claimant to produce a disability impact statement has become one of the standard directions given at case management discussions (CMDs) in respect of disability discrimination cases in which disability is denied or not admitted.
The standard directions in those circumstances will tend to be for the claimant to be ordered to disclose medical records (whether in their entirety or limited to a specific time period or to a specific medical condition) together with the disability impact statement. The respondent is then given a specific time period in which to confirm whether disability is admitted before directions as to medico-legal experts—single or joint instruction—will then apply.
The disability impact statement is, effectively, a witness statement from the claimant (or, more unusually, from a family member) which solely addresses the issue of whether the claimant suffers from a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) (namely, whether the claimant suffers from a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities).
Disability impact statements are often subject to a word limit that is set in the CMD order (usually between 500 and 1,000 words where a single medical condition is relied upon).
Given the likely word limit it
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