Disability at work - Maxicours

Disability at work

Objectif

Découvrir un aspect de la notion « Diversité et inclusion ».

Points clés
  • Dans le monde du travail, la discrimination sur handicap est plus fréquente qu’on ne le croit. Cette discrimination a lieu lorsqu’une personne est traitée différemment par ses collègues ou employeurs à cause de son handicap physique ou mental.
  • Il existe 6 types de discrimination sur handicap : la discrimination direct, la discrimination indirect, le harcèlement, la victimisation, lorsque des équipements spécialisés ne sont pas disponible et la discrimination due à l’handicap.
  • Les personnes ayant un handicap ont plus de difficultés financières et sociales. Il est beaucoup plus difficile de trouver un travail lorsque quelqu’un a un handicap.
  • Il est bien entendu interdit par la loi de discriminer une personne à cause de son handicap. Au lieu de les traiter différemment, il faut les soutenir !

Though it is against the law for employers to discriminate against disabled people, we will see that the situation at work does not always respect the rules. As we are going to see below, discrimination at work can take different forms, and even though they work together some disabled employees still suffer from their non-disabled colleagues’ behavior.

1. What is disability discrimination?
a. Disability at work and discrimination
Disability discrimination takes place when a person who is physically or mentally impaired is treated differently because he or she has a disability.

For example, if disabled people are shouted at, called derogatory names, denied certain benefits, overlooked for promotion, bullied or refused adjustments at the workplace, we can consider that they are discriminated against and they can make a complaint.

First, they should try to speak to their workmates or bosses and explain how sad they feel about the situation.
But if the situation does not improve they should not hesitate to contact their trade unions and have the culprits condemned.
If they are not union members, they must talk to an organization or a solicitor who will explain to them how to proceed.

It is not easy to live with a disability, so why should they let some stupid workmates or bosses insult them?

b. The different types of disability discrimination

There are six types of disability discrimination.

  • Direct discrimination
    Example: when a job applicant is refused a position because he or she is disabled.
  • Indirect discrimination
    Example: when the company policy has a worse impact on disabled employees than on the non-disabled workers.
  • Failure to make reasonable adjustments
    Example: when there are no parking spaces near the office.
  • Discrimination arising from disability
    Example
    When an employee is treated badly because of his or her disability. Some disabled people may be refused a bonus because they have spent time at the hospital receiving treatment.
  • Harassment
    Example: when the employee is humiliated or offended because of his or her disability.
  • Victimisation
    Example: when the employee is treated badly because he or she has made a complaint of discrimination.

Of course, companies can treat their disabled employees differently. This is lawful when they do it to improve the situation of the person.

2. The Difficulty of Being Different

About one third of disabled employees feel they are discriminated against at work and one third of their non-disabled colleagues think that they are less productive! As you can see, this is not easy to be different in the domain of work, all the more disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed because of their disability. And the gap is still growing.

As far as everyday life is concerned, you must know that disabled people have to spend about £600 (a bit more than 650€) more each month and that the poverty rate concerning them is higher (30%) than that of non-disabled people.

Though some organisations have decided to campaign to make a fairer world for disabled people, these differences will continue to exist as long as mentalities do not change. About 14 million people are disabled in the UK, we all must do something to support them instead of harassing or victimising them.

3. Conclusion

To conclude we can say that disabled employees have never chosen to have a disability, they were born with it or had an accident in their lifetime that left them disabled. So it is important to treat them with respect. Anybody can be disabled overnight.

Here are a few cases of disability:
  • autism;
  • deafness;
  • blindness;
  • visual impairment;
  • hearing impairment;
  • orthopedic impairment;
  • intellectual disability.

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