Discrimination in the Workplace



As a person with a disability I was incredibly disheartened to hear about the ridiculous policy that allows KFC to sack someone on the basis of his or her disability. It’s a clear reminder of the structural discrimination that is in full swing in our society and how far we still have to go to eradicate it.

It’s not just ability that employers discriminate on the basis of, but also ethnicity and gender. How many times have we heard stories of someone being denied a job interview because they had an Asian name, and then once they submit the exact same CV with an English name it has the opposite effect?

I’m really glad that Tanya got her job back. Its proof of the things we, as a society can get done and how far we can go if we band together for the betterment of our future. But the fact remains that initially, this never should have even happened. The disabled community is still one of the most financially disadvantaged, and there’s a reason for that. Some, not all, but some employers just don’t want to deal with the extra drama that goes alongside hiring someone with extra needs, not even if they bring a unique and valuable perspective to the table. It is hard enough finding decent employment these days. Imagine how much harder it is when you roll yourself into a job interview and the initial reaction of the employer is that of dread. It’s a hard reaction to ignore, especially when you’re already nervous. Your full time employment opportunities are even further diminished.

The other reason is that disability rights are not something on everyone’s radar. I really hope that the actions taken by KFC are the catalyst we need for progressive change in the workplace.

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  1. From the DPA – Disabled Persons Assembly NZ website:


    “The report focussed on six key areas: social inclusion; health; employment; access to disability-related services and supports; barriers to making complaints; and lack of disability awareness. Its key findings include:

    The New Zealand government and its agencies need to partner far more extensively with disabled people, through Disabled People’s Organisations.

    The government’s implementation of both the New Zealand Disability Strategy and the UNCRPD through its policies, programmes and laws is fragmented, with each department developing its own implementation plans.

    Discrimination in one area (for example, transport or access to support services) can mean escalating discrimination in other areas (for example, employment or health services).

    Current bureaucratic structures and policies hinder disabled people’s interaction and communication, representing major barriers of access to work, health care and so on.

    Staff of private businesses, utilities, local bodies and government organisations often lack awareness of disability issues and are consequently unresponsive to them.”

    “The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first human rights convention of the twenty-first century. New Zealand signed the Convention on 30 March 2007 and ratified it on 26 September 2008.”

    So this was all signed under the last Labour led government, but what has the present government done for disabled, who may suffer physical and/or mental disabilities, with also often serious incapacity to work.

    Instead of supporting disabled they have brought in welfare reforms that rather apply a large stick and tiny carrot approach, putting pressure on sick and disabled, to get “work ready”, while few employers would actually bother employing disabled under fair terms and for longer periods.

    Even “pseudo science” from guys like Mansel Aylward, a controversial UK professor with his perverted form of a “bio psycho-social model” is being used to apply very one sided, rather destructive approaches, rather than listen to and work with disabled.

    What a mess the coming Labour led government will have to tidy up!

  2. Remember the time when you knew if you answerd your employers questions fairly, like most do, have you ever had a A.C.C. claim, or been a member of a Union,would not have hindered your right to employment.Today, answering yes, to one of those questions would most certainly take you out the running for the job you are applying for.

  3. ACC Hatchet doctors, same as WINZ hatchet doctors, bear in mind:


    What the hell is happening to resolve this, as the lawyers of the doctors, of ACC and WINZ have cracked down on the MSM to shut them up!?

    WE have NO answers, we get welfare reforms based on flawed science, and biased “experts”, we get criminal conduct by the NZ government (following the same in the UK)!

    This is utterly corrupt what is going in in NZ, where is the damned MSM do dig into this???

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