We exist to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Why the equality laws protect you because you have epilepsy

This information about the equality laws is for people who live in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

If you are looking for information about disability discrimination in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation.

Disabled people are protected by the equality laws. The laws say that you are considered to be disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment. The laws consider how the impairment affects you, or would affect you, if you did not take medicines to treat it. The impairment must have a substantial effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. It must also have lasted, or be likely to last, for at least 12 months. For these reasons, if you have epilepsy, you may be considered to be a disabled person, under the equality laws.

The equality laws apply to you if you have epilepsy now, or if you have had epilepsy in the past. This is as long as there is a likelihood that your epilepsy could come back. Your epilepsy would also have to have a substantial effect on your day-to-day activities. The laws apply to you whether or not you take epilepsy medicine.


Epilepsy Action would like to thank Kate Whittaker, solicitor, Irwin Mitchell LLP, for her contribution.

Kate Whittaker has declared no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated December 2012
    To be reviewed December 2015

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