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Top tips for small employers

This April, we discusses the technicalities of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), with many being unfamiliar with the principles.

We cover some ‘basics’ that you need to remember to ensure that you meet your duties as an employer under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

1. Do take time to think about how the law will affect you. It is businesses that have given no thought to it at all, and have made no attempts to meet their duties, which are likely to end up discriminating.

2. Do consult a disabled person about any reasonable adjustments they might need to enable them to do the job.

3. Do talk with your staff about the DDA and the issues it raises. You will find that ‘putting your heads together’ can help you all to understand the issues and come up with solutions.

4. Do remember that if you employ a disabled person, you are more likely to be able to respond to the needs of your disabled customers, because you will be familiar with some of the issues.

5. Do ask for advice – you are not expected to know everything all at once. You can also use other advice services like ACAS, the job centre, your local Business Link or Chamber of Commerce.

6. Do treat disabled people with respect and dignity. People may not ‘look’ or behave in a way that you are used to but they should still be treated as an equal.

7. Don’t assume that making reasonable adjustments will cost lots of money – most cost nothing and the average is £75. Many adjustments are about doing things a little differently. Remember that you may be able to use Access to Work to pay for many adjustments.

8. Don’t be fearful of employing disabled people. Disabled people want to get a job and to do it well. You want skilled and good quality staff and the best person for the job may be a disabled person. If you do your best to make your work practices fair, everyone will benefit.

The full publication is available from the DRC website www.drc-gb.org

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