(1) For the purpose of this policy:
(2) Southern Cross University is committed to equal employment opportunity and providing a safe, inclusive and supportive workplace where individuals and diversity are encouraged. Consistent with these values, the University supports the rights of people with disabilities to work in an accessible and inclusive environment, free from discrimination.
(3) The aim of this policy is to:
(4) This policy applies to all University employees.
(5) Employees with disabilities have the same inherent rights as all members of the University community: to be treated with respect, courtesy, fairness and equity. In providing adjustments for employees and applicants for staff positions who have disabilities, the University endeavours to respect their rights to privacy and confidentiality.
(6) The University undertakes to:
(7) Reasonable adjustments are workplace changes that enable an employee with a disability to perform their job effectively and enjoy equal employment opportunity.
(8) The legislation states that these workplace changes need only be made if necessary, possible and reasonable to do so without imposing unjustifiable hardship on the organisation. It does not define the types of adjustments needed to prevent discrimination against employees with disabilities. Each case needs to be considered on its own merit.
(9) Reasonable adjustments do not include:
(10) The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 states that in some circumstances it is not unlawful for an employer to refuse employment to a person who is unable to perform the inherent requirements of a position. This would usually occur in situations where:
(11) In the first instance, employees who feel they may require assistance should contact the Disability Contact Officer in HR Services.
(12) Employees are required to provide the Disability Contact Officer with documentary evidence concerning their disability and the functional limitations it involves. Evidence may be provided by medical practitioners, psychologists and/or other relevant professionals as agreed to by the Disability Contact Officer.
(13) If necessary, the Disability Contact Officer will arrange for professional advice to assist in assessing the employee's needs. This advice will specify:
(14) In assessing the assistance required, the inherent requirements of the position are considered. The inherent requirements of the job are those activities, conditions and practices that are essential to the job and consideration must be given to whether the person could perform these requirements if reasonable adjustments were made to the work environment [for example, a person with vision impairment may be able to perform a clerical job with the assistance of voice-activated computer software].
(15) Supervisors may seek advice from HR Services to clarify the inherent requirements of a position. This is particularly important in the recruitment process to ensure that position descriptions and key selection criteria do not discriminate unlawfully against people with disabilities.
(16) The Disability Contact Officer will ensure that supervisors receive any relevant information concerning adjustments required to an employee's work environment or duties.
(17) The University provides staff development and training opportunities to all employees. Disability Awareness Training is provided to raise the awareness and responsiveness of employees to the issues relevant to the equitable treatment of employees and prospective employees with disabilities.
(18) Documentation relating to an employee's disability will be placed on a confidential file kept by the Disability Contact Officer.
(19) Employees with disabilities who feel that their needs are not being met should discuss their concerns with their Supervisor, the Disability Contact Officer or the Head, Equity and Diversity without delay.
(20) If the employee believes a satisfactory solution has not been reached as a result of these discussions, they may elect to formalise their concerns in writing using the Complaint Policy - Staff.