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What this is
Disability comes from when people with impairments encounter barriers at work and in society.
These barriers can include:
- negative attitudes, such as biases or not understanding that chronic and mental health can be disabilities
- poor communication, such as not making documents accessible
- physical restrictions, such as not having a lift in a building
- social barriers, such as excluding others from activities
As a people manager, you must work to remove or minimise these barriers, so your staff can take part in the team in an equitable way.
As part of Victoria’s Getting to work action plan, we all have a role to play in supporting public sector employees with disability.
Take action to make it fair for people with disability.
You need to make reasonable adjustments when someone asks for them so people with disability can do the inherent requirements of their job.
Why you need to focus on this
You have a responsibility to help staff with disability in your team succeed at work.
You must play your part so everyone in your team has an equitable and fair experience at work.
What happens if you don’t focus on this
For people with disability, it’s against the law to:
- directly and indirectly discriminate against them
- not provide reasonable adjustments for them
You can only refuse to put reasonable adjustments in place if you give evidence of unjustifiable hardship to your organisation.
It’s also your duty to uphold the 7 public sector values and the code of conduct, which includes promoting human rights.
Tips to use
Just like anyone, the health and wellbeing needs of people with disability vary.
If a person with disability is on your team, always ask them what support they need and what that looks like.
Not everyone with a disability will choose to share this information so it’s good practice to ask all team members what support they need to do their best work.
Act on what they say to you, as it’s against the law to not put reasonable adjustments in place.
If you need advice, reach out to your HR team, the Enablers Network or the Victorian Public Sector Commission.