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Inclusive Job Description

Benefits of Inclusive Job Descriptions

Writing an inclusive job description is not mandatory when it comes to hiring people with disabilities. However, inclusive job descriptions are beneficial for any hiring, and when used as a regular HR practice, they can increase business efficiency by allowing managers to accurately assess an employee’s work performance.


Determining essential/non-essential and critical/non-critical functions also creates opportunities to increase employees' performance and job satisfaction. Inclusive job descriptions help to select the right person for each job. They can also increase your recruitment reach.

EMPLOYER’S LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY: It is important to define all essential job functions and to prepare job descriptions before advertising any vacancies or interviewing any applicants. Employment should be defined by a person’s ability to perform the essential and critical job functions. In other words, employers may not disqualify a person from employment if he or she is unable to perform non-essential job functions.


STEPS FOR WRITING an inclusive job description

To write an inclusive job description, refer to the following questions and to the accompanying sample Receptionist job description.

1. What is the formal job title?

2. What is the supervisor's job title?

3. What is the purpose of the job?
This should usually take no more than 3 or 4 sentences. It is meant to indicate the main objectives, outcomes, intended results and/or outputs.

4. What are the duties and responsibilities?
List 3 to 8 job duties and/or responsibilities. For each one, list examples or related tasks and indicate if they are critical or non-critical. Critical tasks may be routine or occasional.

Providing these details ensures flexibility and encourages employees to think in terms of job enhancement instead of viewing certain tasks from the perspective of “That is not my job”. Tasks may also be listed as routine or occasional.
  • Begin each statement with an action verb (present tense).
  • Use gender-neutral and non-discriminatory language.
  • Use clear, simple and precise language. Use qualifiers only when necessary.
  • Be as specific as possible. Write details regarding where, when, why and how.

EXAMPLES

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5. What are the job requirements and qualifications?

The requirements and qualifications should match the duties and responsibilities. This generally includes minimum education levels and certifications. This section does not focus on prior experience.


6. What are the working conditions?
Describe the physical work environment and the hours of work. This section usually includes special conditions such as: weekend work, shift work, working outdoors, working with challenging clients, or working in noisy environments.


7. What are the physical requirements?
Describe the critical range of motion needed by the person doing that job, along with the frequency and any strength requirements if lifting objects is necessary. Also describe any special equipment that must be operated in the workplace.

Employers may not indicate non-essential physical requirements.

EXAMPLE
In a Receptionist job description, employers may not state the requirement to “lift and carry up to 20 lbs. or 10 kg”. Statements such as these are arguably discriminatory since they are not focused on a specific result or essential aspect of the job.


8. Disclaimers 
Employers should consider adding disclaimers to remind employees and applicants that the job description is subject to change.

This document is provided for information purposes only. The content provided is not legal advice and should not be used or relied upon as such. Applicable law may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; if you are seeking legal advice, you are advised to consult a lawyer in your province or territory.


BFOR's → What are bona fide occupational requirements?

Bona fide occupational requirements are considered essential to the job. An employer must differentiate between the essential and absolute job requirements and the optional or flexible job tasks.

For example, in most situations refusing employment on the grounds of religious belief would be considered discriminatory, but a religious school may lawfully require that its teachers be members of that denomination and may lawfully bar from employment anyone who is not a member.

In other situations, posting job requirements that are not essential prevent otherwise qualified candidates from applying to a job that they would be capable of doing. For example, if having a "valid driver's licence" isn't absolutely necessary for the job, it is not a bona fide occupational requirement and should not be posted.

NOTE: bona fide means " authentic, genuine, real, valid, without intention to deceive.

Disclaimer:

HIRE for TALENT has made every effort to use the most respectful words possible while writing these materials. We realize, however, that the most appropriate terminology may change over time. We developed these materials with the intent to respect the dignity and inherent rights of all individuals.



Take the Challenge!


True or false


An employer must consider for employment all applicants who can perform the essential job functions, whether or not they have a disability.

True. An employer may not disqualify a person from employment if he or she cannot perform certain non-essential job functions.



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FREE EMPLOYER TOOLKIT

The toolkit offers a variety of informative tools. Learn about the skills people with disabilities bring to the workplace and use our ‘how-to’ resources, that provide practical tips and strategies on successful recruitment, hiring, inclusion and retention of people with disabilities.

DISABILITY CONFIDENT PARTNERS CAN HELP YOU!

There is help to become an inclusive employer! HIRE for TALENT has a network of organizations offering services and programs designed to help your business recruit, hire, train and retain people with disabilities. After consulting the employer toolkit, call a HIRE for TALENT, Disability Confident PARTNER to find-out what services are available near you!

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FACTS & STATS

Employers often find that workers who identify as having disabilities have unique abilities; they also tend to work harder to prove themselves.
According to employers, people with disabilities perform as well or better than other workers. These employers concluded that hiring people with disabilities did not negatively impact their businesses.
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In a national survey of consumer attitudes towards various companies, 92% of the respondents gave favourable ratings to businesses that hire people with disabilities.
98% were satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received when dealing with an employee with a disability.