In today’s workplace, it is important that disability should not become a barrier to recruiting new employees. In the UK alone, 19% of working age adults are disabled.  However, they are twice as likely to be unemployed than a non-disabled person.

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate in the workplace against people on the grounds of disability – for both physical and hidden disabilities.

Although unlawful, disabled people are still having to face significant barriers when trying to gain entry into the workplace.  Employers are encouraged to challenge these barriers and create a more inclusive workplace for disabled candidates and employees.

How to create an inclusive environment in the surface engineering industry

The Act requires employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to support disabled job applicants and existing employees.  This includes making all documents and information available in accessible formats, offering flexible working patterns, and providing ongoing training and mentoring. Employers should also look to providing special equipment – or modifying/adapting existing equipment – as well as making alterations to their premises to ensure easy access.

The surface engineering industry already faces many challenges when it comes to legislation.  Health and safety is already a high priority, and the carrying out of risk assessments is a regular occurrence.  Whether your employee has a disability or not, you must risk assess your workplace to ensure that your employees are safe whilst carrying out their duties. Although there is no requirement to carry out a specific, separate risk assessment for a disabled person, you must review your existing risk assessments to ensure they cover any risks that may be of particular concern for a disabled worker.

Download your free guide on creating an inclusive recruitment process

To help employers understand their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 during recruitment activities, what measures to put in place, and how to create an inclusive workplace, Citation has put together a free guide, which can be downloaded here.

If you would like to speak to one of our team about complying with the Equality Act 2010, creating an inclusive environment or any other employment issues, please call us on 0121 237 1123 or email us at info@sea.org.uk