Under the Disability Discrimination Act, employers in the UK are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the physical features of the workplace or to working practices, which place a disabled worker at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person. Uniquely amongst discrimination legislation this provision allows for positive discrimination because it allows an employer to treat a disabled person more favourably than non-disabled work colleagues. Reasonable adjustments might include introducing flexible working hours or practices that help a disabled person perform a job (e.g. taking several short breaks instead of one long one), providing application forms for vacancies in different formats (e.g. large formats or audio tape), or holding job interviews in buildings that are accessible to wheelchair users. [See social model of disability.]
Subjects: Human Resource Management.