People with impaired hearing continue to face obstacles and discrimination when applying for jobs and at work despite the protection given to them in Equality Act, according to charity Action On Hearing Loss.
An astounding five million people of working age in the UK are living with impaired hearing or deafness. A survey of more than 1,000 people found:
- More than half felt unfairly treated at work due to disability
- 44% of people did not disclose their hearing loss because of concerns their employer would not consider them to be fit for the job
- two thirds have felt isolated in work
The charity said employers need to act to prevent people from feeling stressed or being bullied.
“It’s inconceivable for anyone with another disability to be mocked at work, and that still happens for people with hearing loss or deafness.
“Employers can be fearful as they feel it may be costly to employ someone with hearing loss but each individual has unique requirements.
The kinds of adjustments people require are different, so for some it may depend where they are positioned in the office or they may need written notes taken at meetings, and those adjustments can be cost neutral and it is about changing behaviours in the workplace.”
Claire Lavery, Action on Hearing Loss
The Equality Act 2010 makes it a legal obligation on employers to make reasonable adjustments.