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ISME, as part of a consortium of Employer bodies including Chambers Ireland and Ibec, manages the Employer Disability Information service, which is funded by the NDA. Below, we have included a list of the most commonly received questions asked by employers in regards to hiring and retaining employees with disabilities.

What services are available that will help me to recruit or retain an employee with a disability?

There are a wide range of schemes open to employers that provide great support when you are attempting to recruit and retain an employee with a disability.

For more information on supports that you can avail of please click here.

What is Inclusive Recruitment?

“Inclusive Recruitment” is a phrase given to a recruitment process that is open to all individuals. It is considered best practice to ensure inclusive recruitment within your organisation.

Further advice on implementing an Inclusive Recruitment Policy within your company can be found here.

What funding is available for employers recruiting a person with a disability?

There are a number of supports available for employers who employ someone with a disability, such as the wage subsidy scheme, employee retention grant and the adaptation grant. For information on these supports and how to apply visit www.employerdisabilityinfo.ie

What funding is available for employers to improve access to buildings?

You should contact your local Workplace Contact in the DSP. Also check out the Employee Retention Grant Schemes (ERGS). This scheme helps employers to retain employees who acquire a disability. For new employees with a disability (as opposed to an existing employee) check out the Workplace Equipment/Adaptation Grant (WEAG) to adapt the workplace or buy specialised equipment for staff with disabilities. The maximum available grant is €6,348.70.

How can I apply for the workplace adaptation grant?

If you are a person with a disability who has been offered employment, or who is in employment and about to change job as a result of re-deployment or promotion, or who is about to become self-employed, and if you require a more accessible workplace or adapted equipment to do your job, you or your employer may be able to get a grant towards the costs of adapting premises or equipment.

What should I know about disability disclosure?

A person with a disability has a choice whether to disclose it or not-there is no obligation on them to do so either at interview stage or when they become employed with the company. It is therefore essential that when recruiting you are clear on the competencies required for the job and provide as much information as possible on what the job entails to allow people to determine for themselves whether they will be able undertake the main responsibilities. Where an employee or prospective employee does disclose a disability to you, you have a duty to make reasonable accommodations to ensure the workplace is accessible to them.

How do I ensure that my organisation is fully inclusive for those with a disability?

There are a number of simple things you can do to create and maintain an inclusive workplace. Begin by ensuring your recruitment process is inclusive. State clearly that you welcome applications from people with disabilities. Be clear on the job requirements and the qualifications needed. Ensure you concentrate on what needs to be done rather than how it is done. Use consistent criteria to assess every applicant regardless as to whether they have a disability or not. Never discriminate against a candidate on the basis of a disability.

What is reasonable accommodation and what do employers need to know?

The Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 require employers to take reasonable steps to accommodate the needs of employees and prospective employees with disabilities. “Reasonable accommodation’ is where an employer makes a change to the tasks and structure of a job, or makes changes to the workplace environment so that an employee with a disability can fully do the job and enjoy equal employment opportunities. However, If you have to make changes to the workplace or work practices to accommodate a disabled employee, the demands should be ‘reasonable’ and should not impose a ‘disproportionate burden’ on you.