Disabled workers are still being discriminated against by UK
employers despite legislation to prevent this, according to a new
report from the Trade Union Congress, writes Amy
Health and safety issues are being used to refuse jobs to
disabled people despite the legal protection of the Disability and
Discrimination Act 1995 the report says. Its findings include
wheelchair users being refused jobs because they would not be able
to escape buildings during a fire or ‘may get in the way’ of
colleagues trying to escape.
Disability-related absence being regarded as sickness absence –
with a knock on effects for disciplinary procedures, performance
reviews and references – was also a problem.
John Monks, TUC General Secretary said: “Safety is a poor excuse
for discriminating against disabled people and it is not allowed by
law. The law requires employers to remove the risks to people, not
remove the people who may be at risk.”
Meanwhile, comprehensive study of employment issues in Wales
commissioned by RNIB Cymru found that people with disabilities lack
advice and information on basic issues such as getting transport to
work, accessing support schemes or simply being shown around a new
place of work.
The research highlights a number of barriers to people with
disabilities seeking and retaining work, including inadequate
support when starting a new job, and transport and mobility
The research also highlights the misconceptions about what
people with disabilities can do, the lack of awareness of the needs
of people with disabilities, and the benefits trap.
– Disability and safety working together from www.tuc.org.uk