· 1 min read · News

Reaction to BBC presenter with one hand is evidence disability discrimination is still rife


The BBC has received complaints from parents about a children's television presenter with one hand, prompting concerns that those with disabilities still face discrimination in the workplace.

Cerrie Burnell, the presenter on children's television channel CBeebies, was born with one hand and her appearance on television caused concern to some parents about how to answer their children's questions about disability - leading viewers to complain to the BBC.

Kathy Halliday, employment partner at law firm Cobbetts, is concerned this incident is evidence that disability discrimination is still a serious problem.

She told HR magazine: "On a moral level the BBC has done the right thing as an employer. It has stood behind its member of staff. But legally it would not be able to do anything else even if it wanted to.

"The organisation employed who it believed to be the best person for the job. But people complaining to the BBC and hiding behind their children show their discrimination."

She added: "Employers need to remember there are stringent anti-discrimination laws and that they have a duty of care to their staff to protect them from discrimination and not to exacerbate the situation."