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How disability-friendly is your business?

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by Startacus Admin

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The lowdown on the key things that you should avoid doing so that you can ensure that your workplace and business is accessible to all

pexels 4063789Making a workplace more accessible can only benefit you, your employees and your customers.

However after years of increasing, the numbers of disabled people in employment has started to fall, with a 28% gap between the proportion of those in work who have a disability and those who don’t.

The pandemic’s impacts are likely to be felt more keenly by disabled people, so opening up more workplaces to more people is even more important right now.

Where can businesses fall short?

Disability discrimination can be split into six categories, here’s an example how each one could be putting people off applying for roles with your company.

Direct discrimination: Overlooking or treating someone differently because you know they have a disability. Giving a job to a less-qualified candidate because you believe a disable person will require more time off work is an example of this.

Indirect discrimination: Taking actions or setting policies that inadvertently exclude those with a disability. Indirect discrimination remains unlawful, although employers may be able to show that a policy is necessary. For example, requiring a drivers’ licence could exclude some disabled people, but is a reasonable requirement for a taxi firm advertising for new drivers.

pexels 3913019Failure to make reasonable adjustments: The Equality Act states that employers must take actions to improve condition for people, regardless of age, gender, disability and more. If an employee needed a specialised vehicle adapted to a disability which required a larger parking spot, or one closer to company premises, it would be unlawful for an employer to refuse this.

Discrimination arising from disability: Discriminating against someone on grounds of something connected to a disability is also unlawful. Restricting access to those with guide dogs, denying time off work for vital treatment or withholding company benefits to someone on grounds of having taken time off work would all fall into this category. 

Harassment: Making someone feel humiliated, ashamed or offended due to their disability. If an employee made offensive remarks to someone about a disability, this would have to be a sackable offence. If not, both the employee in question and the employer would be acting unlawfully.

Victimisation: The crucial difference between this and the previous point is that victimisation stems from having made a complaint about discrimination. If a complaint leads to a disabled person being removed from work, isolated or denied perks, this would be a case of an employer acting unlawfully.

Knowing the potential pitfalls is crucial in ensuring that your business and workplace is a welcoming place for all.

Whether it is your physical facilities, working practices or increasing awareness about the differences in life faced by disabled people, education and action are the first steps to making your company disabled-friendly.


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Published on: 9th October 2020

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