Small charities could face unlimited compensation claims in disciplinary and dismissal cases when new anti-discrimination regulations come into force in October.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which applies to all organisations from October, requires that employers make recruitment procedures accessible to disabled people and make 'reasonable adjustments' for existing employees who become disabled.
Most charities and voluntary organisations employ fewer than 15 people, and have so far fallen outside the regulations.
Charities will now need to have statutory grievance procedures written into their rules, said employment lawyer James Lynas.
An RNIB survey revealed that up to 97 per cent of small businesses are unaware that the discrimination regulations will apply to them from October.