In general, discrimination based on disability may happen to people who have a disability. Often, discrimination may occur because of a combination of several factors, such as age, ethnicity and disability.
If a family raises a child who needs constant care due to a disability, it will place restrictions on the working life of the child’s parents. In a more difficult scenario, one parent cannot work at all. In this case, the state needs to support two instead of one person. In the situation described, the parent may also be subject to discrimination based on disability.
The case-law has found that if someone is the victim of discrimination due to any of the characteristics, he or she may rely on the relevant directive even if he or she does not himself or herself possess any of those characteristics. This means that the person who is the victim of discrimination does to have to have a disability himself or herself, as it is sufficient that he or she is treated unequally because of his or her family member.
Consequently, the protection of the law also extends to the person caring for a disabled person. In this case, the unequal treatment of a disabled parent with or without a disability on the basis of his or her disabled child is considered discrimination.
If you did not find an answer to your concern, you may contact the Estonian Commissioner for Gender Equality and Equal Treatment in a free format by sending an email to email@example.com. When contacting the Commissioner, the identity of the person shall not be disclosed and, upon request, anonymity shall be guaranteed.