Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency

2011.02.22 Disability

The term 'disability' has been defined in Social Code Book IX as follows: "Disabled persons are persons whose physical functions, mental capacities or psychological health are highly likely to deviate for more than six months from the condition which is typical for the respective age and whose participation in the life of society is therefore restricted." (Section 2, Social Code Book IX)

In this respect, the General Act on Equal Treatment (German abbreviation: AGG) does differentiate between various degrees of disability, so that legal protection is not granted to severely disabled persons only. As it may be difficult to distinguish between a disease and a disability, the decision will depend on the specific individual case. The classification of cases of addiction is controversial as well, so that also in this field every individual case has to be thoroughly examined.

The support of persons with disabilities does not constitute a case of discrimination against people without disablement. On the contrary: Employers - women and men alike - have been explicitly obliged to have support measures implemented, as disabled people are unemployed to a disproportionately high extent.