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Do disabled people have a place in the UK construction industry?

Newton, RA and Ormerod, M 2005, 'Do disabled people have a place in the UK construction industry?' , Construction Management and Economics, 23 (10) , pp. 1071-1081.

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Abstract

In the UK, a significant number of disabled people are unemployed and previous research has suggested reasons for this include the inaccessibility of workplace environments that have either not been designed, or adapted, to accommodate the requirements of disabled people, and the nature of work being undertaken in that workplace environment. Since there has been no previous research within the context of the construction industry, the aim was to explore contractors' practices in the employment of disabled people and in the adaptation of workplace environments. A survey was undertaken of the top 100 UK contractors in the UK. Views of disabled people were also sought, and access audits of workplace environments were undertaken. The combined analysis shows that compared to UK industries in general, contractors are less likely to have appropriate policies and practices in place to support disabled job applicants through the recruitment process. However, contractors as employers are more likely to make `reasonable adjustments' as required by the UK Disability Discrimination Act if the adjustment is relatively inexpensive, and if minimal adjustments are required in order to adapt workplaces such that they provide an inclusive approach to the employment of disabled people. Additionally, contractors work hard to ensure that if an employee becomes disabled they are appropriately supported in continued employment. Only a small number of construction organizations believed that `disabled people do not have a place in the UK construction industry'. It can be concluded that while contractors are unlikely to recruit disabled people, they are more likely to continue to employ people once they become disabled, but there is very little monitoring and evaluation of this process by contractors and it is likely that contractors are not fulfilling their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act as a result.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD0028 - 0070 Management. Industrial Management
Subjects / Themes > T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Built and Human Environment
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment > SURFACE Inclusive Design Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Construction Management and Economics
Publisher: Routledge Taylor Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0144-6193
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2007 12:01
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:48
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/506

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