Promoting equality in an unequal world – how businesses must protect themselves

In an inequitable world it is essential for businesses to ensure that the working environment in which their employees spend forty hours a week is a welcoming place. A place where all are encouraged to participate, to use their voices, to contribute towards the overall wellbeing of the company, and most importantly to feel secure and on a level with their work colleagues.

Sometimes it is not obvious what companies need to do to meet these obligations. Different countries and territories have their own equality legislation, and a licensed employment law firm will best advise you according to your particular jurisdiction.

For the benefit of your employees, and to make sure you stay on the right side of the law, it is essential that you work on being disability confident employers.

What does it mean to be disability confident employers?

This means that you have the knowledge and understanding of the challenges that disabled people may face in your workplace, and that you have taken proactive steps to help solve these challenges. It Is easy to pay lip service to creating a better environment, but it also has to work in practice too.

If you fail to make the necessary adjustments, it could see you fall foul of the various disability discrimination laws that have been enshrined in law to protect the rights of those with disabilities. This also applies to both physical and mental disabilities, and must be written into workplace policies.

For example, in the States the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, ensuring they have equal access to employment opportunities. Reasonable accommodations may include modifications to the physical workplace, adjustments to work schedules, or changes to job duties.

Putting the family unit at the forefront of employee wellbeing

When you consider how many hours your employees spend in your business, it is only natural that family life will start seeping through into working hours, no matter how much they try to differentiate it. This will happen more and more as employees get married and start their own families.

Different countries around the world have differing policies when it comes to maternity (or paternity) leave. In the States, for example, employed mothers and fathers are entitled to just 12 weeks of paid leave. Compare that to Bulgaria, for example, where they have 58.6 weeks, and the UK with 39 weeks.

Should there be other medical issues that arise within a family, the US Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. Employers covered by FMLA must provide eligible employees with leave for qualified medical conditions, including disabilities.

Naturally, for individuals who decide that they do not want children, or that they are unable to have children due to a medical condition, often feel that the leeway given to those who do have children is, in itself unfair. There are other discrepancies within working structures, whereby women on zero hour contracts are not eligible for maternity allowance payments. The continuing struggle for governments across the developing world is to balance out the expectations of disparate groups of people to ensure that there is an accepted level of help and support for everybody, despite personal circumstances.

These are general guidelines, and the specific legal requirements may vary depending on the country, state, or local jurisdiction in which the company operates. It’s important for companies to consult with legal experts who are knowledgeable about employment law in their specific area to ensure compliance.

Stay in touch to get more updates & news on Discover Headline!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *