Disability in the workplace
Posted on 29th November 2019 at 12:36
It is unlawful for any employer to discriminate against a disabled Employee. The Equality Act 2010 offers protection to ALL disabled Employees in the following areas:
• application forms – must be accessible to all
• interview arrangements – must be accessible to all
• aptitude or proficiency tests
• job offers
• terms of employment, including pay
• promotion, transfer and training opportunities
• dismissal or redundancy
• discipline and grievances
Redundancy and retirement
• An Employee cannot be chosen for redundancy just because an employee is disabled. The selection process for redundancy must be fair and balanced for all employees.
• An employer cannot force an employee to retire because they are disabled.
An employer who’s recruiting staff may make limited enquiries about your health or disability.
An employee can only be asked about their health or disability:
• to help decide if the employee can carry out a task that is an essential part of the work
• to help find out if the employee can take part in an interview
• to help decide if the interviewers need to make reasonable adjustments for the employee in a selection process
• to help monitoring
An Employee may be asked whether they have a health condition or disability on an application form or in an interview. Employees need to think about whether the question is one that is allowed to be asked at that stage of recruitment.
Reasonable adjustments in the workplace
An employer has to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to avoid an employee being put at a disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in the workplace. For example, adjusting an employee’s working hours or providing them with a special piece of equipment to help them do the job.
These reasonable adjustments may be to the recruitment process or to the employee’s workplace once they have started their employment. Many reasonable adjustments cost little or nothing, but they can make a big difference to disabled employees.
If there are reasonable adjustments which would allow employees to carry on working or help them to overcome barriers, they can ask their employers for them. If employees and employers are not sure what these might be, Access to Work grants can pay for specialist assessments and recommended adjustments.
Employees can ask for reasonable adjustments even before they have started a new job.
Examples of reasonable adjustments
Employers and employees need to communicate openly, because the needs of all employees are different. This is true, even if they have a similar impairment to another person.
• Adapted equipment, such as chairs, keyboards or voice recognition software
• Changes to the work environment, such as lowering desks, using natural daylight bulbs, modifying entrances
• Different responsibilities, maybe even a different job
• Transferring some tasks to a colleague
Changing working patterns and hours
• Flexible working
• Working from home
• Compressed hours
• Going part-time
Support and training
• Providing a reader, interpreter or personal assistant
• Training and support for people who work
Tagged as: Employment & HR
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