Commission works with npower to improve conditions for disabled staff

Published: 26 May 2016

Disability discrimination awareness training is being rolled out to npower’s managers following work with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to improve conditions for disabled staff.

The Commission contacted the energy provider after three Employment Tribunal decisions between 2013 and 2014 found them to be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

Using powers granted under section 23 of the Equality Act 2006, the Commission entered into a legal agreement with npower to ensure that disabled employees were treated the same as other staff and the necessary reasonable adjustments were made.

Over the next two years, the Commission will monitor the delivery of an action plan that will see npower roll out disability discrimination awareness training to managers throughout the organisation. They will also ensure that staff are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.

Disability Commissioner, Lord Chris Holmes, said:

'Employers have a clear responsibility towards their disabled staff and where organisations are falling short in this area the Commission will step in and take action to improve things. npower is a large employer and we look forward to working with them as they put in place the necessary steps to improve conditions for their disabled staff.'

Chris Pilgrim, npower’s Human Resources Director, said:

'We’re committed to providing a working environment where everyone is respected and valued. Part of this commitment means we continually seek to improve our policies, procedures and codes of practice so we can make sure our employees and other workers are all treated equally and fairly. We’re working with the Commission to make sure the steps we’re taking are effective in further improving employee understanding of equality and diversity within the company.'

Notes to editors

  • As a strategic regulator the Commission’s preference is to work with businesses to achieve change and avoid costly legal proceedings. But where this doesn’t happen we won’t hesitate to use our full range of legal powers. More information on our legal work is available on our website.
  • Two of the Employment Tribunal decisions relate to the unfair treatment of employees with disabilities after npower failed to make reasonable adjustments to their sickness absence policy. The third Employment Tribunal claim was made by a person with a disability who said npower failed to make reasonable adjustments to their office environment.

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