Ask the Lawyer: Can I be deemed unfit to work in a certain job if I have Hep B?
PinkNews brings you the latest in a series of features which sees your real questions answered by leading lawyers at Simpson Millar.
The latest question comes from a person who has Hepatitis B and is unsure of whether it will affect them in their new job as a private hire cab driver.
The reader asks: “I recently tested positive for Hepatitis B and want to become a private hire cab driver. I’m nervous to attend a physical, which is necessary in order to get a private hire licence – could I be deemed unfit for the job if I have Hep B?”
A Simpson Millar lawyer says: “Hepatitis B is a blood-borne virus. Chronic Hepatitis B can lead to the requirement of long-term, even lifelong, treatment.
“In this case, the protection that the law can offer you depends on whether your condition has been diagnosed as long-term. If your condition is long-term, it may fall within the legal definition of a disability and you would therefore be protected under the Equality Act 2010.”
Adding: “The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and a long-term adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
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“If you were covered by the above definition, the law protects you against discriminatory treatment on the basis of such disability.
“Without knowing the specific job requirements and the severity of your condition, it’s not possible to comment on whether it could result in you being unable to carry out the role.
The lawyer concludes: “But, one important thing to note is that if your condition does qualify as a disability, no employer can treat you unfairly on the basis of your disability during the recruitment process.”
“To find out more or if you need some legal support, feel free to get in touch with one of Simpson Millar’s Employment Law solicitors on 0800 260 5005 or click here to request a call-back.”
Disclosure: Simpson Millar is a PinkNews advertiser