Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Questions (140)

Robert Troy


140. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the definition of reasonable accommodation for a teacher who is diagnosed with a disability. [14467/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The provisions regarding reasonable accommodation for teachers are set out in paragraph 16, Chapter 3 of the Sick Leave Scheme contained in the ‘Terms and Conditions of Employment for Registered Teachers in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools’. This paragraph states:-

“The Employment Equality Acts require employers to take reasonable steps to accommodate the needs of employees and prospective employees with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation typically involves some modification to the tasks/structure of a job or workplace environment, which would enable such an employee to fully perform their work role and enjoy equal employment opportunities. An employer will make reasonable adjustments for teachers who have a disability, or who have acquired a disability, to have reasonable accommodation made to facilitate their return to work. However, employers are not obliged to provide special treatment or facilities if the cost of doing so is excessive or disproportionate. The employer should explore in conjunction with the teacher and the OHS any appropriate enabling options, for example: (these examples are not exhaustive):

- Making reasonable adjustments to the school building and/or working space

- Acquiring relevant equipment or modifying existing equipment

- Partial Return to Work as detailed below”

Under Section 24 of the Education Act, 1998 (as amended by the Education (Amendment Act, 2012) the employer is the Education and Training Board (ETB) for vocational schools/community colleges, community national schools and the Board of Management/Manager in the case of primary (excluding community national schools) voluntary secondary, community and comprehensive schools.