Disability in employment
February 19, 2021
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It can easily be seen that local labor law benefits the worker in many ways and from different angles. In essence, it is important that the health and safety of employees at their respective workplaces is prioritized and protected at all times.
Personal injury in the workplace is still widespread today. As published by the National Statistics Office – Malta on August 21, 2020, more than 1,100 employees were involved in non-fatal accidents at work and 3 employees were killed in the first six months of 2020.
Indeed, while at work, it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that the health and safety of their workers is guaranteed. This is further regulated under the Occupational Safety and Health Agency Act that created the OHSA – the Occupational Safety and Health Agency – specifically set up to ensure that the physical, mental and social well-being of all workers in the workplace is monitored.
The latter law requires the employer to take all necessary precautions to prevent physical and mental illness, injury or death in the workplace. These precautions include:
- the avoidance of risks;
- the identification of hazards related to work;
- the assessment of the risks that cannot be avoided;
- control of risks at the source that cannot be avoided;
- taking all necessary measures to reduce the risk as much as possible, including replacing the dangerous with the non-dangerous or with the less dangerous;
- give collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures;
- Adapting the work to the worker,
- Adaptation to technical progress in the interests of occupational safety; and
- the development of a coherent general prevention policy that includes technology, work organization, working conditions, social relationships and the influence of factors on the work environment.
In addition, an employer ensures that in workplaces where a significant number of workers are employed, one or more people are designated as representatives or representatives for the health and safety of workers, who are consulted in advance and in good time of the employer on matters that can affect health and safety in the workplace.
In addition, such a law states that workers must also ensure that their own health and safety and that of other colleagues in the workplace are protected. Every employee is obliged to work with the employer and the above-mentioned health and safety officer.
Chapter 413 – Equal Opportunities Act (People with Disabilities) states that any person with a disability must not be discriminated against and treated equally with all fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.
No employer may discriminate against any of its employees with a disability based on a disability in relation to:
- Procedures relating to applications for employment;
- the hiring, promotion or dismissal of employees;
- Employee remuneration;
- Job training; and
- other conditions and privileges related to employment
In such cases, an employer is presumed to have discriminated against an employee on the basis of disability if that employer, for no legitimate reason,:
- restricts such person in a way that adversely affects such person’s ability or status; or
- participates in all matters the implementation of which leads to such a person being exposed to discrimination; or
- uses standards, criteria, or methods of administration that adversely affect such individual’s opportunities, status, or benefit; or
- fail to make reasonable provision for such person’s disability; or
- denies such a person employment opportunities if such denial is based on the employer’s need to make changes for such person’s disability; or
- uses qualification standards, employment tests or other selection criteria that weed out or tend to weed out a person or class of people with a disability, unless the employer can demonstrate that the standards, tests or other selection criteria are an essential qualification or requirement for are the position in question; or
- fails to select and conduct tests relating to employment in the most effective way to ensure that the results of such tests are accurate when the test is performed on such a person and that person has a disability that renders sensory , manual or language skills impaired reflect the skills or abilities of such a person
1 Chapter 452 – Labor and Labor Relations Act.
Chapter 424 – Occupational Safety and Health Agency Act.
Chapter 413 – Equal Opportunities Act (People with Disabilities).
Press release – Accidents at work: January – June 2020 https://nso.gov.mt/en/News_Releases/Documents/2020/02/News2020_016.pdf
The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. A professional should be obtained about your particular circumstances.
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