Myth or Fact?
See how much you know about disability and the workplace. Do you think the following statements are true or false?
Nobody thinks in stereotypes – we’re more sophisticated now.
Fact: In 2015, it was reported that 42% of disabled people seeking work found the biggest barrier to getting hired were misconceptions around what they could do.
To be disabled, the person has to be in a wheelchair, or blind, or lost a limb, something like that.
Fact: The definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010 is very broad and can cover a very wide range of conditions – what the law calls ‘impairments’. And some are not obvious – such as some mental health conditions.
A job applicant has to tell an employer if they are disabled.
Fact: No. A disabled person can keep a disability confidential.
If a problem arises about an employee’s disability, it is likely to turn into a dispute which will go on for a long time.
Fact: Not necessarily. Often, the best option is for the employer to have a quiet word with those involved to reach a resolution early and to which they can all agree.
It will be expensive for an employer to hire a disabled person.
Fact: Most reasonable adjustments’ cost nothing or very little. Only 4% of them do cost (and even then the average is £184 per disabled employee) and the emphasis is on the word ‘reasonable and what is reasonable can depend on the size of the business.
A disabled employee is unlikely to contribute as much as a non-disabled employee.
Fact: Employers often complain of a skills shortage yet at the same time overlook a pool of talent. There are currently over three million disabled people in work, but nearly five million disabled people of working age are not – a huge source of potential talent.
In redundancy, an employer has to create a vacancy for a disabled employee
Fact: No. An employer doesn’t always have to redeploy disabled employees. They should be capable and qualified for any new job, with any ‘reasonable adjustments’ in place.
Once an employer has hired a disabled person, they can’t sack them.
Fact: An employer can dismiss a disabled employee if the dismissal is justified and they have taken all the correct steps.
It’s still ok to refer to people who do not have a disability as ‘able-bodied’?
Fact: No. This term suggests all disabilities are physical and that disabled employees or job applicants are not capable. Instead, if it is really necessary to make the distinction, use the term ‘non-disabled’ for people who do not have a disability.