Inherent requirements of a job

Under the Disability and Discrimination Act (1992) (DDA), employers are required to offer equitable employment opportunities to everyone. This means if a person with disability can perform the inherent requirements of the job, then that person should have the same opportunity to do the job as anyone else.

Inherent job requirements are the essential outcomes that must be achieved as part of a job. They are the tasks or skills that are a major part of the job; they cannot be allocated elsewhere or done a different way, and have significant consequences if not performed.

Inherent requirements

Inherent requirement NOT an inherent requirement

The ability to produce professional standard reports within a set time-frame

Ability to type 50 words per minute.


This is not an inherent requirement because a person with a dexterity impairment could use speech recognition software to produce reports without a keyboard.

Ability to move large pieces of equipment

Heavy lifting.


This is not an inherent requirement because adaptive equipment could be used to move heavy objects without lifting them

Ability to communicate effectively with customers

Good telephone speaking manner.


This is not an inherent requirement because a person who is deaf could utilise email, instant messaging orTelephone typewriter or telecommunication device for the Deaf (TTY) to communicate effectively with customers

Developing position descriptions or job advertisements

When producing position descriptions or job advertisements make sure responsibilities are phrased around the inherent requirements, so that people with disability can more easily identify whether they would be able to perform the role.

Staff member return from work

It is essential that the staff member has an up to date position description for their current role as this will provide the basis on which they are to return to work upon completion of their graduated return to work plan.

When considering if the staff member is able to return to their substantive position, the inherent requirements of that role are taken into consideration regarding his/ her continued suitability for that role.

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