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Can an employer exclude a person with a disability who is successful in the recruitment process and who has the skills and knowledge needed for the job but whose job is not possible without adjustments?

Generally, no. When setting criteria for employment, recruitment and selection, a person must not be treated less favourably because of his or her disability.

There are fewer disabled people applying for and getting a job, as work space is often inaccessible for them and work organisation has not been tailored to their specific needs, making it impossible for them to work. However, the low employment rate of people with disabilities is an inequality resulting from disability. To reduce this, the state has imposed an obligation on the employer to take appropriate measures, on a case-by-case basis, to enable the disabled person to gain access to recruitment, employment and promotion or training. The Estonian Occupational Health and Safety Act also obliges the employer to create suitable working and living conditions for disabled employees.

The employer may refrain from taking measures only if such measures impose a disproportionate burden on the employer. The amount of expenses is estimated by taking into account the financial and other costs of the employer, the size of the company or institution, and the funding possibilities.

According to international practice, however, refraining from resorting to remedies is considered to be discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the employer can prove that the necessary remedies would cause him or her disproportionate costs.

If you did not find an answer to your concern, you may contact the Estonian Commissioner for Gender Equality and Equal Treatment in a free format by sending an email to avaldus@volinik.ee. When contacting the Commissioner, the identity of the person shall not be disclosed and, upon request, anonymity shall be guaranteed.