The Rights Of Individuals With Disabilities Act, 2016 – Prolonged To Non-public Employers – Employment and HR
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Unlike its predecessor, the Disability Rights Act of 2016 obliges private institutions to formulate an equal opportunity policy and to keep records of the disabled people they employ.
Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2016 (action), which replaces the 1995 Disability Act, came into force on April 19, 2017. The rights of people with disabilities, 2017 (regulate) were announced on June 15, 2017 to supplement the provisions of the law. The law is in line with the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and aims to encourage institutions to provide a disabled-friendly workplace. The law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities unless it can be demonstrated that such a law is an adequate means of achieving a legitimate end.
While the applicability of the 1995 law was limited to government controlled / assisted entities, the law has now brought
private institutions in his area. Although the law or rules do not mandate that private institutions must appoint persons with disabilities (PwD) there are certain obligations imposed by law on private entities that are briefly described in this update. The definition of private establishment under the law is also quite broad and includes corporations, firms, cooperatives or other corporations, associations, trusts, agencies, institutions, organizations, unions and factories.
Compliance for private employers
While most of the provisions of the law continue to affect the government and / or local authorities, some important obligations placed on private entities include:
(a) formulation an equal opportunity policyListed here are the conveniences that PwD must be provided with in order for them to perform their duties effectively. If there are 20 or more employees, the guideline should also specify the job roles within the company identified as suitable for PwD, the recruitment process for these roles, the training courses provided for these roles, the preference for transfer and secondment, and the special leave PwD can use tools for PwD and measures to ensure barrier-free accessibility. The policy should be registered with the agency appointed by law and also be displayed on the company’s website. If it is not possible to display the policy on the website, it must be displayed in a prominent place in the office space.
(b) Appointment of a liaison officer Supervise PwD recruitment and provide the necessary facilities if the facility has 20 or more employees. The details of the liaison officer should also be included in the policy.
(c) Maintain records Information on the number of PwD employed, the date of entry, name, gender and address, the type of disability, the type of work they do and the facilities made available to them; and
(d) ensuring compliance with the specified Accessibility standards relating to the physical environment, transportation, and information and communication technology. This includes ensuring that the building has elevators / ramps for the convenience of wheelchair users, that a minimum width of sidewalks is maintained, that the documents on the website are in PDF-based optical character reader (OCR) format, etc. The law also provides No establishment should be issued a certificate of completion unless it has complied with government-formulated accessibility standards. For existing buildings, there is an obligation to comply with these standards within 5 years of the announcement of the rules.
Failure to comply with any of the above obligations may result in a fine of up to INR 10,000 in the first instance and up to INR 500,000 for subsequent violations.
(a) “Adequate government” is not required for private institutions – Indian law usually specifies which government, i.e. state government or central government, is the appropriate authority in relation to different types of entities to ensure compliance with the law. While the law defines who the relevant government is in relation to entities that are wholly or substantially funded by central or state government, it is silent regarding private entities.
In light of this anomaly, if the law is strictly interpreted, there is currently no government empowered to oversee the implementation of the law’s provisions in private entities. This could lead to several problems. For example, one of the obligations imposed on private entities is to register the policy with the Chief Commissioner or State Commissioner as appointed by the relevant government. As no suitable government has yet been identified for private institutions, the responsible commissioner with whom such a policy can be registered has not been appointed.
(b) Ambiguity about certain obligations – While the law and rules require private entities to indicate the types of facilities, facilities, special leave entitlements, aids, etc., that are made available to PwD in the Gender Equality Directive, it does not specify the amount or purpose of such special leave or all mandatory or minimum claims that PwD can assert as a right under the law. It seems, therefore, that the intent of the law is primarily to encourage institutions to voluntarily provide facilities and amenities and to ensure a disabled-friendly workplace.
While the law or regulations do not require private entities to recruit PwD, they now need to identify appropriate positions for PwD, reconsider their recruitment practices and, if necessary, revamp their staffing policies.
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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