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Firefighters and the DDA – What does it mean for The Fire and Rescue Service?. By Michelle Valentine, Practice Development Officer. Our overall goal ‘A society where all disabled people can participate fully as equal citizens’. What we are
By Michelle Valentine, Practice Development Officer
‘A society where all disabled people can participate fully as equal citizens’
Definition of Disability
“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial, long term, adverse effect on ability to carry out normal day to day activities”
Covers: HIV infection
(from Dec 05 from point of diagnosis)
people with severe disfigurements
people who have had a disability in the past even if they have recovered
How to decide if someone is disabled:
2 Main Types of Discrimination:
Justification not possible in either case
disability related discrimination
Making adjustments to employment arrangements for disabled people
Removing physical barriers to access for disabled peoplePart II Reasonable Adjustments
Some disabled people won’t be suitable because of medical issues BUT:
You set standards BUT:
The DDA requires you to make every effort to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to retain staff who become disabled.
The incidence of disability increases with age – also higher in the Fire Service due to type of work
Keeping firefighters operational
Pensions/ill health retirement
This should be your first aim
what are the risks?
what adjustments can I make?
How do I monitor the situation?
Lack of management will to accommodate disabled firefighter on their team
Failure to understand barriers and solutions and a concentration on the medical aspects of disability
Fear of litigation, leading to lack of contact from or with the disabled firefighter
Assumption that someone cannot return until they are 'fully fit for duty'
New definition of firefighter allows greater creativity in re-deployment
Consider posts that are commensurate with skills and experience
Can you pay them less – it depends!
Keep them in the pension scheme if possible
The amendments to the Firefighter's Pension Scheme allow the Fire Service to comply with its duties under the DDA.
DDA duties take primacy over the Pension Scheme regulations.
Managers of the Pension Scheme and Fire Service managers need to fully understand the DDA and the duties it imposes upon them (refer to Section 10 of the DRC’s Statutory Code of Practice on Employment and Occupation).
Routine health check identified mild asthama
Line Manager says its not safe for firefighter to wear BA as this may make condition worse
Firefighter want to stay operational
Firefighter with HIV
Told she cannot work at RTA’s because of cross-contamination risk
Barrier protection – works both ways!
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