Disability Action Plans - Description of the proposed or current positive action measures
A Disability Action Plan should inform the staff of the body and members of the public of the positive action measures the public authority is currently taking or intends to take. There are various sources of guidance about positive action, for example, the Equality Commission has published the following:
- S49A & S49B duties - A Guide for Public Authorities (pdf, 2007)
- Outreach Positive Action - A Guide for Employers (pdf, 2010) - Section5, pages 9-12
- Disability Code of Practice - Employment & Occupation (pdf, 2013)
- Disability Code of Practice - Trade Organisations & Qualification Bodies (pdf, 2005)
- Disability Code of Practice - Further & Higher Education (pdf, 2006)
- Disability Code of Practice for Schools (pdf, 2006)
- Disability Code of Practice - Transport Providers (pdf, 2011)
- Disability Code of Practice - Goods, Facilities & Services (pdf, 2005)
- Every Customer Counts - Promoting Accessibility for Disabled Persons
Extracts are set out below from the Commission’s publication; Outreach Positive Action - A Guide for Employers (pdf, 2010) which although referring to employers and employees, reflects what is permissible by law in relation to the appointment of board members to public bodies:
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (“the DDA”) allows employers to do things that would not be allowed under the other anti-discrimination laws.
Examples of emerging good practice:
The DDA does not prevent employers from treating disabled persons more favourably than persons who are not disabled (but not vice versa). Therefore, it would be lawful for an employer, when taking outreach positive action, to reserve a quota of jobs for disabled people to the exclusion of people who are not disabled. Employers could also give disabled people preferential treatment in other aspects of a recruitment exercise. For example, employers could lawfully operate a “guaranteed interview scheme” for disabled job applicants.
However, employers who act in this way should still act with some caution. This is because it is unlawful to treat a person who has one type of disability more favourably than a person, or persons, who have other types of disability.
For example, it is likely to be unlawful to reserve a job vacancy for people who have sensory disabilities but to exclude from consideration people who have mental health disabilities…
Employers do not need the Equality Commission’s approval before taking outreach positive action of kind discussed here. However, we recommend that you nevertheless seek our advice first. This is because we have certain recommendations of good practice to make (see examples below).