The institution wishes to be an organisation that is recognised by the community for good employment opportunities. It wants individuals who apply to YOUTH EDUCARE to be confident that they will receive fair treatment and be considered on their ability to do the job.
YOUTH EDUCARE's employment policies aim to ensure that people with disabilities receive treatment that is fair, equitable and consistent with their skills and abilities. Similarly, the institution admits students to the available places on its courses based on their academic ability and motivation, whilst recognising the particular achievements of disabled students who have reached this stage.
YOUTH EDUCARE will make every effort, if an existing employee becomes disabled, to retrain and retain them wherever practicable.
YOUTH EDUCARE is committed to providing relevant training on disability and involves disabled people and interested parties via the Disability Action Committee, in policy implementation and evaluation.
The Equality Act 2010 was introduced to harmonise and replace previous legislation, such as the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. The Equality Act has strengthened particular aspects of equality law, and in particular, disabilities.
The Equality Act has made it easier for a person to show that they are disabled and protected from discrimination. The Act puts a duty on YOUTH EDUCARE to make reasonable adjustments for staff to help them overcome disadvantage resulting from impairment, e.g. by providing assistive technologies to help visually impaired staff use computers effectively.
The Equality Act takes the approach that employers and service providers must look specifically at the particular person's disability and indentify how, if practicable, they can ensure that the disabled person is treated as favourably as everybody else. The law is in place to promote equal rights and fair treatment.
DEFINITION OF DISABILITY
Under the Act a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a
substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This would include such things as using a telephone, reading a book, or using public
• ‘substantial' is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial'
• ‘long-term effect' is defined as lasting more than a year (12 months or more).
YOUTH EDUCARE complies with its legislative definition, and it also defines disability as the loss or limitation of opportunities that prevent people who have impairments from taking part in the life of the community as equal, due to physical and social barriers.
The following are covered under this definition:
• Physical and sensory impairments
• Specific learning difficulties
• Autistic spectrum disorders
• Mental health issues
• Severe disfigurements
• Anyone with an HIV infection, cancer or multiple sclerosis
• Progressive conditions that affect normal day-to-day activities, including long term physical health issues
DISCRIMINATION AND EXCLUSION
Discrimination against disabled applicants or staff can take place in the following ways:
Direct Discrimination: An individual is treated less favourably than another because of a disability.
Indirect Discrimination: When a rule or policy that applies to the majority but disadvantages someone with a protected characteristic (disability).
Discrimination by Association: Direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who has a disability.
Discrimination by Perception: Direct discrimination against an individual because the others think they possess a particular protected characteristic, e.g. disability.
Harassment: Many people with disabilities experience harassment at work. At YOUTH EDUCARE, harassment will not be tolerated and every reasonable step will be taken to deal with it. Any refusal to work with people because of their disability is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Staff can complain of behaviour they find offensive even if it is not directed at them, for example, if they believe the harassment or treatment of another has created a hostile environment.
Harassment by a Third Party: YOUTH EDUCARE is potentially liable for harassment of our staff by people we don't employ, e.g. out-sourced contractors.
Victimisation: When a staff member is treated
badly because they have made, or supported a complaint or grievance, under the Equality Act:
• by treating them ‘less favourably' than other people, or
• by failing to make a ‘reasonable adjustment' compared with other people for a reason relating to their disability.
Discrimination is often unintentional and can arise from:
• assumptions and stereotypes
• prejudice or fear
• lack of understanding and information
• low expectations
• lack of direct contact with disabled people
• inaccessible environments
• lack of appropriate aids, services and adjustments which make something accessible
• inflexible practices and procedures
As many disabilities are not obvious YOUTH EDUCARE has to rely on the staff member or applicant
making a disclosure about their disability. It is understood individuals are often reluctant to do this because they fear discrimination, and feel it is not relevant in respect of being able to do
the job. However, if staff or applicants know about YOUTH EDUCARE's disability policy and in particular our willingness to make reasonable adjustments, they will be much more inclined to disclose,
including invisible disabilities.
Disclosure can be beneficial for the following reasons:
• the stress of not divulging a disability can exacerbate the person's difficulties at work or study;
• the employee and manager, or tutor and student, can together determine what adjustments, if any, would maintain or improve working conditions;
• the support of fellow workers can be enlisted.
Under legislation it is imperative that we safeguard the confidentiality of personal and medical
information. When a person's disability status is known, all unnecessary and potentially damaging disclosures will be avoided. Disclosure will only occur:
• with the explicit consent of the individual
• when it helps to facilitate the person's ability to do the job
• if it is absolutely necessary within the law
The applicant or employee will always be informed about the purposes for which the personal information will be used.
The Equality Act makes it unlawful, except in certain circumstances, for employers to ask about a candidate's health before offering them work. Health questionnaires filled out by job applicants are sent to Occupational Health in confidence and are not used to screen prospective employees.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Faculty Principals, Deans, Heads of Departments/Divisions, and all those in managerial positions have a particular responsibility to ensure implementation of the Equal Opportunity policies and procedures.
Every individual working within the institution has responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. The
institution has a responsibility to avoid discrimination in the areas of:
• training and development
• career development
• redundancy and dismissal
• day to day working life
Everyone working for YOUTH EDUCARE, and those responsible for procuring services for the institution, are responsible for ensuring that non-discriminatory policies and procedures are in place in order to avoid discrimination against disabled staff, clients and visitors.
In addition, all staffs have a responsibility to avoid, and to challenge the victimisation or harassment of disabled people.
If any member of staff believes they have been treated in a way that is contrary to this policy, concerns should be raised with someone in authority who is in a position to take appropriate action, e.g. a senior manager in the department, the local HR Manager or Adviser, a departmental disability Liaison Officer, or a College Disability Support Contact, details of which are published on the disabilities web sites.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
YOUTH EDUCARE is committed to conducting transparent monitoring to make the institution fully accessible for all.