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Disability equality

The PDA encourages all employers to treat all people fairly, regardless of any disability. This will not only support the well-being of disabled employees, but it will also ensure there is a fairer and more equal workplace for all.

Thu 8th June 2023 The PDA

The PDA Ability Network

The Ability network was launched by the PDA in April 2020 as part of the association’s work to meet the demands of a growing membership and advance work on equality.

The Ability Network provides a structure through which pharmacists can work together to improve knowledge relating to disabilities and proactively address and campaign against disability discrimination.

Greater appreciation of disabled people may also help care and service for patients and/or their families, who may also have disabilities.

Examples of a disability can include:

  • Long-term medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes
  • Fluctuating or progressive conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or motor neurone disease
  • Mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or depression
  • Conditions including dyslexia and autism.
  • Dwarfism

The Equality Act (2010) provides protections from disability discrimination at work if a person has:

a physical or mental impairment that has a sustainable and long-term negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities.

Those who are diagnosed with HIV infection, cancer, multiple sclerosis, or severe disfigurement are also protected under The Equality Act (2010) as they are defined as a disability.

Reasonable Adjustments

Under the Equality Act 2010 employers must make reasonable adjustments for employees and other workers who have disabilities. Reasonable adjustments could include changing how a person accesses technology, hours they work, rest periods or many other aspects of their work.

The PDA Ability Network has recently developed a factsheet that highlights key information and sources of support around reasonable adjustments at work.

Pharmacists who feel that they are being denied a reasonable adjustment in the workplace are encouraged to contact the PDA Member Support Centre.

Disputing if an individual is disabled

Sometimes an employer may dispute if an employee is disabled under the Equality Act. In such a dispute, only a legal judgement can confirm the position. For example, in a recent employment tribunal case involving the company Houlihan Pharmacy Ltd an employee’s disability was disputed, and they were dismissed from work. However, the outcome of the tribunal was that the panel was satisfied with the employee’s claim of being disabled due to the medical evidence presented.

Read the full case below

thumbnail of Mr_C_McArthur_v_Houlihan_Pharmacy_Ltd_-_4105887-2022_-_Preliminary_Hearing

Learn more

Get involved

Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.




The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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