Employment of people with disabilities in the public service

Part 5 of the Disability Act 2005 sets out the legal obligations of public service bodies

  • To promote and support the employment of people with disabilities
  • To comply with any statutory Code of Practice
  • To meet a target of 3% of employees with disabilities
  • To report every year on achievement of these obligations

Read the NDA's reports on compliance with Part 5 of the Disability Act.

Promote and support the employment of people with disabilities

Section 47 (1) a of the Disability Act requires public bodies, in so far as practicable, to take all reasonable measures to promote and support employment by them of people with disabilities.

Comply with any Statutory Code of Practice

No statutory Code of Practice has yet been made. The Civil Service has a non-statutory Code of Practice.

Meet the 3% target

Unless there are good reasons to the contrary, public bodies are obliged to employ 3% of staff with disabilities.

Under the Comprehensive Strategy for People with Disabilities (2015 – 2024), the Government has committed to increasing the public service employment target  for persons with disabilities on an incremental basis from a minimum of 3% to a minimum of 6% by 2024.

Report on compliance with these obligations

Public bodies must report every year by 31st March on compliance with these obligations. They report to statutory Monitoring Committees in their parent Department. For civil servants, the report is to the Department of Finance Monitoring Committee.

In order to report on compliance with the 3% target, public bodies need to know how many of the staff they employ have a disability, i.e. Those staff covered by the definition in the Disability Act:

a substantial restriction in the capacity of the person to carry on a profession, business or occupation in the State or to participate in social or cultural life in the State by reason of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment