Managing disability in the workplace can be a sensitive subject and sometimes makes employers and employees feel awkward, nervous of offending, or embarrassed. It doesn’t need to, though. Sensitively managing disability in the workplace is achievable with good HR management, proper planning, and timely actions. Let’s have a look at some key areas for approaching disabilities in the workplace with sensitivity.
The Equality Act 2010 makes it against the law to discriminate against a person who has a protected characteristic. These characteristics include sex, religion, or age. Discrimination can occur anywhere but as HR consultants, we’re specifically talking about protected characteristics in the workplace. This blog explains the protected characteristics, how discrimination can occur, how employers can avoid discrimination, and how Metis HR can help you stay compliant. Protected Characteristics In The Workplace Formed to replace separate anti-discrimination laws with one easy to understand Act, The Equality Act 2010 provides people with legal protection against discrimination in the workplace and wider society. 9 protective characteristics are set out in the Equality Act 2010. These are: age disability gender reassignment marriage and civil partnership pregnancy and maternity race religion or belief sex sexual orientation Workplace Discrimination As mentioned, the Equality Act protects people at work as well as in society. Workplace discrimination disputes arise when an employer has acted unfairly towards an employee, or potential employee based on a protected characteristic. Discrimination isn’t always intentional, and employers can inadvertently discriminate against employees or potential employees. If this isn’t picked up until it is too late it can sever trust with employees, damage […]
New research is looking at how to support employees returning to work from long term absence due to mental health issues. So far, research calls for line managers to have a good understanding of how to manage mental health problems. This finding raises the importance of training line managers in mental health issues. A recent survey by CMI showed that less than a third of managers (30%) have been trained in managing mental health in the workplace in the last year and almost half of managers (49%) have never received any training. Only 20% had received training more than a year ago. Equipping managers with the skills to support returning employees post-return should be included in future training initiatives. Common mental health illness such as stress, anxiety and depression are on the rise and can result in long-term sick leave. Helping employees return to work is only part of the challenge. Although employees may return, this does not mean they stay at work or regain their former levels of productivity. A high percentage of workers who suffer from mental illness have recurrent periods of sick leave. Sheffield University are working with Affinity Health at Work to understand how managers can […]
Managing an employee with multiple sclerosis need not be challenging for employers. As one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) impacts more than 2.3 million people around the world. The term multiple sclerosis means “many scars”. It relates to the areas that appear on the brain and spinal cord after the sheath covering the nerves is damaged or dies. The damaged sheath leaves a lesion behind. These lesions are identified by an MRI scan when symptoms begin to appear. MS symptoms vary and progress at different rates for each person diagnosed. The disease is unpredictable, progressive and challenging to diagnose. The cause is also unknown. While there is no cure, treatments are advancing to help slow the progression of MS and reduce the symptoms. Not every employee with MS will need extra support in the workplace, and many of those who do will only require small changes (reasonable adjustments) – to enable them to continue working. A reasonable adjustment is a change, perhaps to the job or the working environment, that enables your employee to continue to do their job. Your employee’s right to reasonable adjustments is a key part of the Equality Act. MS […]