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Should workplaces be accessible to disabled people or people with special needs even if there are no disabled employees in the organisation?

In principle, all public buildings and workplaces must be accessible. The employer’s premises must comply with the general accessibility requirements arising from the relevant Regulation of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, even if no disabled person is employed in the company or organisation. These requirements need to be taken into account when planning major renovations or constructing new buildings, for example.

It’s also important for employers to ensure that everyone has access to the workplace. Otherwise, disabled workers have no chance of joining the collective and they may decide not to apply for a job solely because they cannot access the workplace. For the employer, this means that they have to choose employees from a smaller pool of applicants. It may also happen that an existing employee of the organisation or company is confined to a wheelchair as a result of an illness or accident.

Whether or not a disabled person can access the workplace in a particular institution or company or participate in work should be considered part of the human resources policy. If not, the adaptations that should be made in the specific working environment must be identified and taken into account, at least when the next major renovation is carried out or the organisation moves to new premises.

Disabled persons are an extremely vulnerable population group whose participation in the labour market must be supported.

Accessibility also means that a breastfeeding mother can use a suitable room for breastfeeding her baby or collecting breast milk (§ 10 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act).

This explanation does not constitute legal aid in a specific case. Therefore, if you feel that you have been treated unequally, but you did not find a solution to your problem in this article, or if you have a question, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at avaldus@volinik.ee or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.