Written answers

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Department of Health

Equal Opportunities Employment

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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671. To ask the Minister for Health the way that his Department and public bodies and agencies that operate under his remit meet their obligations for reasonable accommodation under the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015. [24309/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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My Department uses the services of the Public Appointments Service (PAS) when recruiting new staff. As part of that process, PAS engage with candidates on any reasonable accommodations they may require and this information is provided to the Department when the candidate is assigned as an employee.

My Department's Strategic HR Unit engages directly with individual employees (whether new recruits or existing staff) about any reasonable accommodation needs they may require. The HR team adopts a positive, facilitative and constructive approach to ensure that all accommodations that can reasonably be put in place are met. This ensures that the individual employee can engage with their work and carry out their duties effectively and efficiently. Accommodations can take many different forms, including the use of assistive or adapted technology, a change in a working pattern or attendance arrangement, the provision of equipment including specialist ergonomically designed furniture or other aids.

The Department has a Disability Liaison Officer and a Disability Access Officer who are available to and engage regularly with employees with a disability. The Department also avails of the Occupational Health services provided by the Chief Medical Officer for the Civil Service who advises on these matters.

The results of these engagements can be seen in the number of staff within my Department who have declared a disability which is well in excess of the target for the employment of people with a disability of 6%.

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to their workforce. Information for other agencies under the aegis of my Department is being collated and will be provided directly once available.


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