These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.
Q: A woman with only one arm has applied for our vacancy for a payroll clerk. We are concerned that she will not be able to operate the computer keyboard efficiently or quickly enough and will have difficulty carrying the boxes of files we have to move around each month. Are we safe in refusing her the job?
A: No. The woman is certainly protected by the Disability Discrimination Act which means that you should take all reasonable steps to adjust the working environment to enable her to do the job.
Either get someone else to move the heavy boxes, arrange for hers to be made lighter or provide her with some form of trolley. As to the keyboard, you should discuss your concerns with the woman. She may be able to type just as fast, or even faster, than someone with two arms.
Disabled people often more than compensate for their disability and thus make excellent employees.
(This topic is covered in detail in our Employment Law courses)