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Over 50% of pharmacists with disabilities face workplace discrimination

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‘Employers should create an environment where pharmacists with disabilities can work safely and without fear of discrimination’

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association Ability Network or PDA Ability Network has released initial findings from its disability discrimination survey, indicating the need for significant efforts to make workplaces more inclusive for pharmacists with disabilities.

Launched in February this year, the survey aims to establish the extent of discrimination faced in the workplace by pharmacists who are disabled or live with a long-term health condition.

Respondents reported encountering disability discrimination in a variety of ways, from employment being withdrawn upon discovery of their disability to employers declining to offer reasonable adjustments.

The initial survey report revealed that 40 per cent of participants expressed feeling excluded from the workforce, underemployed, or unemployed because of their disability.

It was found that nearly 70 per cent of participants either did not receive reasonable adjustments or only received partial reasonable adjustments to accommodate their disability.

More than half of respondents (53 per cent) reported experiencing discrimination in the workplace.

Among those who faced discrimination, 60 per cent said it came from their manager, while 40 per cent reported experiencing discrimination from colleagues.

Liz Larkin, PDA organiser and co-ordinator for the PDA Ability Network, said “Pharmacists are a talented skilled workforce but a proportion of pharmacists who have disabilities or long-term health conditions are discriminated against and excluded from the workforce.

“This is a terrible loss of skills and talent and we need employers to create an environment where disabled members can work safely and without fear of discrimination.”

The network said that it will use this evidence to inform its next campaign to lobby employers to meet their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to provide reasonable adjustments.

“With one in five people in the UK being disabled, discrimination not only causes real distress, it means that a valued group of the workforce may find themselves not working should their employer not support them,” the network noted.

PDA members are encouraged to complete the online survey by Tuesday 30 April 2024.

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Current Issue March 2024

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