The Rights for Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, is a legislation that was created keeping in mind the inclusion of people with disabilities in all spheres of life.
The Act contains rights and entitlements that they can now take advantage of in society as well as the workplace. The legislation ensures that the persons with disabilities have the right to and non-discrimnation. The law guarantees them their right to equality, integrity, dignity and respect.
The Act guarantees for equality and non-discrimination in all aspects of life, which is inclusive of both education and employment. To implement this in the area of employment, the Act has included both the private sector and the government sector. The organisations are required to develop an Equal Opportunity Policy for people with disabilities and should publicize the same using their websites/office spaces etc.
If an organisation has more than 20 employees it is required to register the copy of the said policy with the Chief Commissioner/State Commissioner. This is to also ensure that there is non-discrimnation against people with disabilities in any form in the organisation.
Details of the Act
According to the Act the Equal Opportunity Policy should have the following ingredients:
-List of roles identified for people with disabilities
-Facilities and amenities provided
-The process of selection, hiring, training, promotion, preference in transfer & posting, special leave, and any other facility.
-Provisions for assistive devices, barrier-free accessibility etc.
-The organization must depute a liaison officer to look after the recruitment of persons with disabilities and provisions of facilities and amenities for such employees.
-Companies must maintain records of persons with disabilities, number of employees with disabilities, type of disability, roles assigned to them, assistive devices and other facilities provided to them. The data must be produced for inspection to the concerned government authorities.
-The Act also mandates that there must be a grievance redressal mechanism in place to address the complaints raised by employees with disabilities.
Responsibilities of the Employer
Furthermore the Act for the first time includes the private sector into the ambit of creating a more inclusive environment for people with disabilities. The prohibition of discrimnation in a private establishment has been mandated under the law. The Employer has been given the responsibility to maintain so. In order to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities, it is important for employers to sensitise employees with respect to challenges of diversity and inclusion and unconscious biases that certain groups of people face.
The legislation also sheds light on providing additional services such as training, barrier free accessibility along with developing additional benefits to the people with disabilities so as to cater to their special needs. This has also led to a shift in the hiring policies and practices while allowing the transition of equality in employment for people with disabilities. Apart from the changes in the policy level, the establishments are now also required to ensure that the physical structure/ working environment adheres to the norms developed by the government. The law also creates a penalty on organizations who fail to comply with these norms.
The law itself stands testament to the fact that the government is now moving towards creating an inclusive society that has equal opportunities for people displaying all forms of diversity including disabilities. This could pave ways for creation of a progressive society that doesn’t discriminate on the rights and opportunities of its people. The step to include the private sector in providing equal opportunities at employment will develop the creation of a more inclusive working environment that will thus resonate in society.
About the Author and Serein
Faakirah Junaid Rafiquee is a lawyer and content designer. She is an experienced head of operations skilled in research, policy analysis, human rights, mental health, women rights, workshop moderation and document drafting. She is a strong operations professional with a Bachelor of Law focused in women rights and policy analysis. She has facilitated and designed workshops on issues like feminism, prevention of mental health, and childhood sexual abuse. She also has developed courses, modules and programmes on the same issues. Faakirah writes on women’s and mental health issues.
The materials on this web site have been prepared by Serein Inc. for informational purposes only and are not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. Reader should not rely or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.
Serein is a team of scientists, sociologists and lawyers who are passionate about driving better business outcomes through diversity. Our services on sexual harassment include: – Preparation/review of company POSH policy – Membership as an external member to Internal Committee (IC) in all legal entities – Awareness of sexual harassment training for employees – Regional languages courses for support staff and factory workers – Managers and leaders capacity building on prevention of sexual harassment in their teams – POSH Induction training for new joiners – Sexual Harassment training and compliance for South East Asia teams – Sexual Harassment training compliance for teams in US, UK and Europe Our services on diversity and inclusion include – Diversity and Inclusion trainings – Unconscious bias training and consultation – Inclusive leadership – Micro-learning on diversity and inclusion – Emotional and mental wellbeing