Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Ryan Compton, Director of Centre for Resolution, and is about the best practices to follow when employing someone with a disability.
Ryan writes: "Hello, my name is Ryan Compton, Director of Centre for Resolution. We provide equality, diversity and inclusion services through the utilisation of training, coaching and mediation.
Disability can be a difficult topic to speak about especially when it comes to employment. Employers are often thinking what are the best practices when employing someone with a disability so in this four part series we are going to be speaking about the process of employing someone with a disability in three key areas, which are recruitment, employment and retention.
We will kick start the series with an introduction to disability and employment.
What is a disability?
There are many types of disability. Too many to name, but there are several umbrella terms to disability, which are sensory, physical, mental and learning.
Here are some examples:
Sensory – Vision and Hearing Impairment
Physical - Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes
Mental – Depression, Anxiety
Learning – Dyslexia, Dyscalculia
Just to make it even more complicated there are variants within this as some people like myself have more than one disability from multiple categories. To make it even more complicated than that, long-term health conditions are also considered as a disability.
Not all disabilities are visible; there are also many invisible disabilities for example depression or HIV.
Legislation – The Equality Act 2010
The government created legislation in 2010 that protects people with disabilities from discrimination both in and outside of the workplace.
Not every disability or health condition is protected by The Equality Act 2010 and the following definition should be applied:
‘’You are disabled under the ‘Equality Act 2010’ if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long term’ adverse effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.’’
When working alongside people with disabilities in employment you will hear the term ‘reasonable adjustment’. The Equality Act 2010 states that employers and service providers must make reasonable adjustments to prevent people with disabilities being put at severe disadvantage.
So you’re now thinking: what does a reasonable adjustment look like?
For a national organisation, which employs a person with a physical disability, a reasonable adjustment might be step free access to enter and exit a building. However if an independent shop employed this person, it might be more reasonable for the shop to provide the employee with a wheelchair ramp for them to enter and exit a building.
Now the word reasonable is a very grey term because what is reasonable to one person is not necessarily reasonable to another and there are also considerations to how large the employer is. However there are ways in which to seek this information to inform your decisions if as an employer you wish to ensure you are abiding by the rules, regulations and best practice.
For further information on reasonable adjustments please visit this webpage.
For further reading on the equality act and what disabilities are covered you may wish to read ‘Is my disability covered by the equality act 2010?’
Be on the look out over the next few weeks for our next installment in our blog series, as we explore these issues further.
If you would like to know more about our support services please visit our website."