De Guest blogger

08 avril 2022 - 18:33

Photo de Marie G
Marie being presented her prize at the award ceremony at the British Council - February 2022.

In the United Kingdom, the Disability Discrimination Act, strengthened in 2010, sets the objective of prohibiting all discrimination based on disability, particularly in the area of employment. I have decided to show a particular interest in the United Kingdom’s process of employment and its conditions. As a reminder and to define the terms of the subject, positive discrimination is the act of giving advantage to those groups in society that are often treated unfairly because of their race, sex, religions etc.

Based on this statement, we might therefore ask ourselves whether employers should positively discriminate in favour of people with disabilities when recruiting new workers by weighing up the pros and cons.

First of all, this intention to fight against discriminations shows us the willingness from a part of the society to combat inequalities. This positive discrimination in favour of people with disabilities could be good for several reasons. On the one hand, this positive discrimination in hiring can convey the open-mindedness of people and this initiative represents a nice example of tolerance. It allows people with disabilities to access to a job in line with their qualifications. Employment is crucial both in terms of offering financial security and as a symbol of successful integration into society. 

Also, it can be a great opportunity for the integration of minorities and it could be a great example for the fight against discrimination in general. 

According to the Labour Force Survey, British people with disabilities are more likely to be employed today than in 2002. Although they still have fewer opportunities than non-disabled people, the gap between these two groups has been reduced over the past 14 years.

However, this initiative could be counterproductive. In fact, it could produce the opposite effect like stigmatisation. Positive discrimination may bring about a lack

of self-confidence from these job applicants. They will not feel legitimate and will think that they will not be hired for their real qualities but because of their handicap.

Moreover, it may be unfair for people with no disabilities who are also applying for the same position. They may have better qualifications and have better diplomas but not be hired because of positive discrimination.

Furthermore, they may accept the situation of these disabled people less well. This can cause tension and even more discrimination.

To conclude, these two points of view are both valid and each has supporting arguments. As we can see, there is no perfect solution. I think that the most important thing is to coexist peacefully and be a part of society. In my opinion, tolerance is an essential part of respect so we should all take care of each other. Life is too short to shut people away.

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