Ensuring conversations are appropriate

Employers are often eager to know what questions they are entitled to ask about a person's disability.

You can only ask questions about how an employee’s disability relates to doing his or her job. You can ask how the workplace can be changed to help your employee do the job. You can ask about how work hours or rosters can be changed to help your employee be more productive. You can ask questions about keeping the workplace safe for your employee and other team members.

You cannot ask personal questions about the lifestyle of a person with disability. You cannot ask general questions about the employee’s health or disability, such as how they acquired the disability.

Basically, ask the same questions that you would of a person without disability.

Types of questions you can ask:

  • “Do you need any special work arrangements so you can do your job?”
  • “Do you need any changes to be made here in the workplace?”
  • “Have you got ideas about good ways to do your job?”
  • “Do you have ideas for making your workplace safe?”
  • “Do you take any pills that might make it unsafe for you to do any of the job’s tasks?”
  • “How will you let us know about medical appointments so we can change your work roster?”

Types of questions you cannot ask:

  • “Do you take of lot of pills?”
  • “Are you sick a lot?”
  • “How many times a year do you go to the doctor?”
  • “Are you going to be able to cope?”
  • “Does your disability make you get angry with other people?”
  • “Have you ever lost a job because of your disability?”

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