The inaccessibility of job advertising websites to people with disabilities is an “emerging scandal” which could expose companies to legal challenge, according to the head of one of the world’s leading bodies promoting equal opportunities in the workplace.
Susan Scott-Parker, founder and chief executive of the Employers’ Forum on Disability (www.efd.org.uk), said this month that inaccessible recruitment sites pose a “huge problem” to jobseekers with disabilities, particularly since many employers were now recruiting exclusively online.
Speaking at the e-Inclusion Ministerial Conference hosted in Vienna by the European Commission earlier, Scott-Parker cited inaccessible online psychometric tests and internet job application forms as two examples of features that could exclude jobseekers with disabilities.
“If you put a sign up saying no disabled people need apply, people would get cross. But thousands of jobs are like that. Surely if an employer chooses not to allow a disabled person to apply online, this is an employment rights issue?”
Companies need to ensure they provide alternative routes to job application that are taken as seriously as applications received online, Scott-Parker said. It was no good providing alternatives if applications received via those routes are perceived as second-class, she said.
NOTE: For a full interview with Susan Scott-Parker about ICT accessibility and employment see our interview with Susan Scott-Parker OBE www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=219.