Business Disability Forum has revealed that a staggering 75% of disabled employees would not know how to bring a discrimination claim against their employer, or who to go to for support and advice when they feel they are the subject of discrimination.
The results of the Forum’s survey, which focused on the role and powers of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in tackling disability discrimination, also revealed that only 5% of people had used the Commission when making a claim of discrimination against an employer or service, and that the understanding among businesses of the role and authority of the EHRC was very low.
The Business Disability Forum has therefore called on the Government to strengthen the role of the EHRC, giving it a larger role in which it will be able to challenge Government policy. The Forum feels the EHRC should be allowed to act as a “critical friend” to policymakers, while also advising on issues which could negatively affect the lives of disabled people.
CEO of the Business Disability Forum Diane Lightfoot said: “We fully support the Equality and Human Rights Commission and its role upholding equality. Far too many disabled people and people with long-term conditions continue to face discrimination within the workplace and in society more generally. The Commission must be given the remit and the necessary resources to be able to change this and to achieve its aims.
“We want to see the Commission ‘at the table’ and fully involved in the policy-making process of any public policy being developed or reviewed, which could affect the lives of disabled people.
“We also want to see a greater public awareness of the function of the Commission and disabled people knowing about the help and advice on offer to them, should they experience discrimination. Equally, organisations having a clear understanding of the consequences of actions brought against them, should they act in a discriminatory way.
“Strengthening the role of the Commission will help to give out a clear message that disability discrimination is unacceptable and will be challenged.”
For advice on anything mentioned above, contact the Business Disability Forum.Get your copy of UNITE Magazine