Job application forms: Beware bias against people with disabilities

I, too, applaud SG Enable's efforts to support workplace inclusion for people with disabilities ("Hiring people with disabilities: Conduct more studies on workplace inclusion" by Mr Eng Whan Seng; Wednesday).

As a society, we can definitely do more for those among us who may have certain disabilities, and find ways to let them contribute to society, instead of ostracising them.

Many companies, including government agencies and statutory boards, continue to ask in their application forms if a job candidate has any physical or mental disabilities.

Asking such questions at an early stage in the application process creates a bias in the hiring manager's mind and discriminates against a candidate immediately because of his health condition.

While I appreciate that a person may be precluded from certain jobs because of his disabilities, this should be assessed only at the time of the interview and not beforehand.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2016, with the headline 'Job application forms: Beware bias against people with disabilities'. Print Edition | Subscribe