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RPWD 2016 Act - What employers need to know

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 safeguards people with disabilities from different types of discrimination, ensures they have access to equal job opportunities, and even more importantly, gives them rights at the workplace.

The Act applies to government as well as private establishments. Private establishments under RPWD 2016 refers to a company, firm, cooperative or other society, associations, trust, agency, institution, organization, union, factory, or such other establishment specified by the government.

While most of the compliances under the Act apply exclusively to government establishments, private ones are also covered and must cover the following requirements:

  • All companies must frame and publish an Equal Opportunities Policy. This has to be framed and published on its website or placed prominently in the company premises. The policy must mention details of the benefits and facilities provided to disabled persons at the workplace. A copy of the policy must also be registered with the State Commissioner.
  • Companies with over 20 employees must appoint a liaison officer to oversee the hiring of people with disabilities and the facilities provided to them.
  • Companies must identify job vacancies suitable for people with disabilities. If the company concerned is getting incentives from the government, a minimum 5% of job vacancies must be reserved for disabled persons.
  • The employer should provide extra facilities or special benefits to disabled employees. This is to increase their accessibility, such as special leave and training programs.
  • All companies must follow the accessibility norms issued by the government for disabled persons. These relate to workplace infrastructure and communication technologies, which must be accessible.
  • Every establishment must maintain records of its disabled employees.

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