Policies & Guidelines

Code of Practice for the Employment of People with a Disability

Radio Telefis Éireann Corporate HR February 2012

Introduction

The purpose of this Code of Practice is to provide a clear statement of RTÉ policy in relation to the employment of people with disabilities.

RTÉ as a Public Sector employer is committed to a policy of equality of opportunity in its employment practices. With specific reference to persons with disabilities, RTÉ is committed to the development and implementation of improved measures to promote and support the employment of persons with disabilities.

In this context all reasonable efforts will be made to meet the specific requirements to which some disabilities give rise in order to maximise access to employment, promotion and advancement in RTÉ for people with disabilities and to enable staff with disabilities to make the fullest contribution to their work.

RTÉ is committed to ensuring the maintenance of employment of people with disabilities at a minimum level of 3% of total staff.

RTÉ is also committed to ensuring that people with disabilities who are capable of effective performance in the job which they hold or to which they aspire are not disadvantaged or discriminated against by reason of having a disability. RTÉ is thus committed to affording equal opportunities to people with disabilities in securing, retaining and progressing in employment on the same basis as other staff members in RTÉ.

In accordance with the provisions of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 and 2004, no employee, or job applicant to RTÉ, will receive less favorable treatment on the grounds of disability.

The definition of Disability is set out in the Disability Act 2005 and in the Employment Equality Act 1998 and 2004 (see Appendix 1 for details)

Monitoring and Reporting

RTÉ as a public sector employer is required to meet its legal obligations under the Disability Act 2005 to reach and report each year on the number and percentage of employees with disabilities. RTÉ shall ensure, unless there is a good reason to the contrary, that at a minimum it reaches the current compliance target of 3% in relation to the recruitment and employment of persons with disabilities. This will be monitored on an annual basis by Corporate HR in conjunction with IBD HR.

Recruitment and Selection

People with disabilities are entitled to apply for any post in RTÉ for which they are qualified and to have their applications considered on the basis of their abilities, qualifications and suitability for the work in question. It is the person’s ability to do the job that counts.

The following guidelines will apply in relation to recruitment:

- No unnecessary or irrelevant obstacle will be placed in the way of people with disabilities applying for posts in RTÉ

- RTÉ will make all reasonable efforts to provide such specific facilities and equipment as are necessary to enable applicants with disabilities to participate in competitions

- In supplying any information on the duties of posts all care will be taken by

RTÉ to avoid specifying non-essential requirements which could have the effect of excluding people with disabilities. Where the suitability of a particular candidate with a disability is at issue, RTÉ will consider some adjustments which might reasonably be employed to enable the individual to perform the role.

RTÉ will apply the following principles and standards in the recruitment and selection process of persons with disabilities:

In relation to recruitment and selection process of persons with disabilities appointments will be made on merit using fair and accountable means of selection that conform to best practice.

Publicity for competitions will include a statement affirming RTÉ’s commitment to equality of opportunity for all candidates.

Websites containing information on recruitment campaigns and selection processes will be set up in accordance with the most up-to-date accessibility standards.

(www.accessit.nda.ie)

Those responsible for recruitment and selection processes will ensure that they offer and provide reasonable accommodation requested by candidates during the recruitment and selection process.

Training

Disability awareness training will be provided to selection boards, HR managers and to line managers who are required to manage with staff with disabilities.

Work Experience

RTÉ is committed to, where possible, providing a limited number of work experience placements in order to increase the participation of persons with disabilities in the workplace. This will be arranged through the colleges and coordinated through the Access Officer. Work experience can be made available to persons with disabilities as part of an academic programme

IBDs and departments will assign mentors to persons with disabilities on work experience. Mentors will assist persons with disabilities in their professional development and guide them in identifying and developing the skills and competencies required to be successful in the workplace.

Inclusion in the Workplace

It is important to understand that disability does not necessarily affect a person's ability to perform their role, however it may in certain circumstances affect the way or the location in which they perform it. Most people with disabilities can operate effectively without requiring modifications to their working environment. However, specific facilities are required by some.

RTÉ will ensure that, insofar as it is practicable, the working environment will be designed to minimise those problems which face employees with a disability.

RTÉ will also ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to meet the specific requirements of an individual with a disability so as to maximise their access to, and successful participation in, their employment with RTÉ.

People with disabilities may encounter greater difficulties than others in adjusting to a new workplace. Good communications are a key requirement in overcoming difficulties which may arise. Clearly, the best source of information about disability and what might apply in the workplace is the person with the disability. Accordingly, full and frank discussion of any problem encountered is essential if difficulties are to be minimised.

People with disabilities should feel that they can discuss any particular issues with their line manager. It is thus important that managers and colleagues who deal with staff with disabilities should overcome any inhibitions which they may feel about discussing a person's disability directly with him or her. Educational awareness information will be made available through the Access Officer.

Staff & Career Development

Staff with disabilities should have the same opportunities as other staff to develop full and rewarding careers in RTÉ. Information about career development and promotion opportunities should be communicated in an accessible format.

In assigning duties to staff with disabilities, care should be taken to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that they are given the same opportunities as other staff to acquire the range of skills and experience necessary for their future career development.

Staff with disabilities will be offered the same access to training as all other staff and measures should be taken to ensure they are not inhibited from availing of such opportunities for reasons of physical or sensory access to training centres, conference rooms, format of training materials, etc.

Staff with disabilities should be encouraged to apply for promotion where it appears that they may be reluctant to do so because of their disability.

Every effort should be made to afford staff with disabilities the same opportunities as other staff to broaden their experience.

Employees Developing a Disability

Existing employees who develop a disability will be reasonably accommodated in order to be retained within the employment of RTÉ. For example, they may be redeployed to other tasks commensurate with their capabilities. In this context RTÉ will carry out a full assessment of the needs of the person with the disability and the measures necessary to reasonably accommodate that person’s disability. The person will also have access to counselling or other supports as identified by themselves and RTÉ’s Occupational Medical Advisors to enable them to continue in their career with RTÉ. Regular reviews will be conducted with the employee and the line manager to access the individual’s needs against the job requirements to determine if changes need to be made to accommodate the person’s disability.

Accommodation & Equipment

It is RTÉ’s policy to ensure that, insofar as is practical, the working environment is such as to minimise problems which face staff with disabilities. RTÉ will take the requirements of people with disabilities fully into account in its assessment of buildings. When structural work is undertaken on buildings consideration will be given to reasonable alterations which might be included in the work to improve accessibility.

Line managers will consult staff with disabilities about specific equipment or other personal supports which might enhance their efficiency and effectiveness in performing their role. A positive approach to reasonable requests for such supports should be adopted.

In circumstances where the person with disability is raising concerns regarding the carrying out of a particular assignment the person will be referred to the RTÉ Occupational Medical Advisors who will report to RTÉ Corporate HR and IBD HR on the matter with appropriate advices/recommendations. In making a final decision on an assignment in such circumstances the line manager will be shown a copy of the occupational medical advisors report to as to enable them to make a fully informed decision.

Health and Safety

Staff with disabilities may have particular difficulties in regard to evacuation procedures. For example, the evacuation of people with limited mobility raises particular difficulties where lifts cannot be used. People with hearing impairments may require some specific arrangement to ensure that they are aware that the alarm has been raised. It is of particular importance that such problems are identified and that appropriate alarm and evacuation arrangements are put in place by Security in consultation with the person with disability.

Staff members with a disability should be made aware who their Fire Warden is. If they need particular assistance in the event of an evacuation they should make this fact known in advance both to their line manager and to the relevant Fire Warden.

Where a specific difficulty exists RTÉ will, in consultation with the person/s concerned, endeavour to devise means, whether by way of particular equipment or otherwise, by which those difficulties can best be overcome.

Staff with disabilities should never be excluded from evacuation drills; rather it should be a priority concern of Security to ensure that any particular arrangements which may be required for the evacuation of such staff are fully tested and used at each drill and that any issues arising in this regard be immediately reported.

Health and Safety Statements will address the needs of people with disabilities. The health and safety of people with disabilities shall be included in all related training.

Monitoring & Implementing This Code

To ensure a positive culture towards disability, awareness raising / training in relation to disability will be provided for managers who actively manage people with disabilities.

In giving effect to the provision of this Code, Managers and employees may require assistance and advice on a wide range of issues. Line Managers should in the first instance approach their appropriate HR Managers. On questions which require advice, (e.g. the availability of specific equipment in particular circumstances) the Access Officer may, after consulting with the person with the disability, directly approach other organizations where the required expertise is most likely to be found.

Access Officer

The RTÉ Access Officer is a member of RTÉ Corporate Human Resource team and is responsible, where appropriate, for providing or arranging for and co-ordinating assistance and guidance to persons with disabilities accessing the services provided by the organisation.

Michael O’Brien, the RTÉ Access Officer, is located in Corporate HR and can be contacted at 01 2082469 or at michael.obrien@rte.ie.

Complaints:

It is RTÉ’s policy that all complaints will receive meaningful replies which attempt to address the issues raised in the complaint. Initially, complaints about disability issues under this policy should be made to RTÉ Access Officer.

RTÉ is committed to the following:

  • All complaints received in writing or by-email should be replied to within 20 working days.
  • Replies must address complaints in a thorough manner. It is not sufficient to "note the complaint".
  • Complainants shall be informed that, if they are not satisfied with the reply they receive, there is a review process available to them within RTÉ. The review will always be carried out by a member of staff more senior than the person who responds in the first instant. Members of the public who are not satisfied with the reply they receive should write to Head of Broadcast Compliance, RTÉ, Donnybrook, Dublin, 4. Correspondence may be sent by email to complaints.review@rte.ie

Corporate HR

February 2012

Appendix 1

Definition of Disability

Disability is defined in the Disability Act 2005 as:

"disability, in relation to a person, means a substantial restriction in the capacity of the person to carry on a profession, business or occupation in the State or to participate in social or cultural life in the State by reason of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment"

Disability

is also defined in the Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004 in the following terms:

(a) the total or partial absence of a person's bodily or mental functions, including the absence of a part of a person's body,

(b) the presence in the body of organisms causing, or likely to cause, chronic disease or illness,

(c ) the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person's body,

(d) a condition or malfunction which results in a person learning differently from a person without the condition or malfunction, or

(e) a condition, illness or disease which affects a person's thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or which results in disturbed behaviour, and shall be taken to include a disability which exists at present, or which previously existed but no longer exists, or which may exist in the future or which is imputed to a person.

RTÉ, as employer, is subject to the provisions of equality legislation, including the Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004, the Equal Status Act 2000 to 2004 and the Disability Act 2005

Related Links

www.rte.ie/about