India: The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016 - Extended To Private Employers

Last Updated: 17 August 2017
Article by   Trilegal

Unlike its predecessor, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 imposes obligations on private establishments to formulate an equal opportunity policy and maintain records of persons with disabilities employed by them.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (Act), which replaces the 1995 law on disability, was brought into effect on 19 April 2017. The Rights of Persons with Disability Rules, 2017 (Rules) were notified on 15 June 2017 to supplement the provisions of the Act. The Act is in line with the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and aims at encouraging establishments to have a disabled friendly workplace. The Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, unless it can be shown that such act is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

While the applicability of the 1995 statute was restricted to government controlled/aided establishments, the Act has now brought private establishments within its ambit. Though the Act or the Rules do not require private establishments to mandatorily appoint Persons with Disabilities (PwD), there are certain obligations imposed on private establishments under the Act, that are briefly described in this update. The definition of private establishment under the Act is also quite broad and includes companies, firms, co-operative or other societies, associations, trusts, agencies, institutions, organizations, unions and factories.

Compliance for Private Employers

While most of the provisions under the Act continue to address government and/or local authorities, some key obligations cast on private establishments include:

(a) Formulating an equal opportunity policy, which sets out the amenities to be provided to PwD to enable them to discharge their duties effectively. If there are 20 or more employees, the policy should also set out the job roles within the establishment that are identified as suitable for PwD, the recruitment process for such roles, trainings provided for these roles, preference in transfer and posting, special leave that PwD can avail, assistive devices provided for PwD and measures taken to ensure barrier-free accessibility. The policy should be registered with the authority appointed under the Act and should also be displayed on the establishment's website. If it is not feasible to display the policy on the website, it must be displayed at a conspicuous place in the office premises.

(b) Appointing a liaison officer to supervise recruitment of PwD and provision of requisite facilities if the establishment has 20 or more employees. The details of the liaison officer should be included in the policy as well.

(c) Maintaining records containing details around the number of PwD employed, their date of joining, names, gender and addresses, nature of their disabilities, nature of work performed by them, and the facilities provided to them; and

(d) Ensuring compliance with specified standards of accessibility relating to physical environment, transport and information and communication technology. These include ensuring that the building has elevator/ramps for the benefit of wheel chair users, adhering to a minimum width of walkways, ensuring that documents on the website are in optical character reader (OCR) PDF based format, etc. The Act further provides that no establishment should be issued a certificate of completion unless it has adhered to the accessibility norms formulated by the government. For existing buildings, the obligation is to adhere to these standards within 5 years from the notification of the Rules.

Non-compliance with respect to any of the above obligations could result in the imposition of a fine of up to INR 10,000 in the first instance and up to INR 500,000 for subsequent non-compliances.

Some Concerns

(a) No 'appropriate government' prescribed for private establishments - Statutes in India typically define which government, i.e. the State Government or Central Government, is the appropriate authority in relation to different types of establishments for purposes of ensuring compliance with the law. While the Act defines who the appropriate government is in relation to establishments wholly or substantially funded by the Central and State Government respectively, it is silent with respect to private establishments.

Given this anomaly, on a strict reading of the Act, there is currently no government which has the authority to monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Act in private establishments. This could lead to several issues. For example, one of the obligations imposed on private establishments is to register the policy with the Chief Commissioner or the State Commissioner, as appointed by the appropriate government. Since an appropriate government has not yet been identified vis-ŕ-vis private establishments, the relevant Commissioner with whom such policy can be registered has also not been appointed.

(b) Lack of clarity on specific obligations - While the Act and Rules require private establishments to specify the types of facilities, amenities, special leave entitlement, assistive devices, etc. provided to PwD in the equal opportunity policy, it does not specify the quantum or purpose of such special leave, or any mandatory or minimum entitlements that PwD can claim as a right under the Act. Therefore, it appears that the intent of the Act is to primarily encourage establishments to voluntarily provide for facilities and amenities, and ensure a disabled friendly workplace.

(c) Collecting information from employees who are PwD- Currently, many organizations do not collect data on disability. It is therefore important to put into place processes for collecting such information, both for existing employees and new hires. The data being collected (such as the nature of the disability) under the Rules would qualify as 'sensitive personal information' under the Information Technology (Reasonable security practices and procedures and sensitive personal data or information) Rules, 2011 (Data Protection Rules). It would therefore be necessary to ensure that the individual's consent is obtained prior to collecting such data. To the extent such data is collected and stored in electronic form, the requirements under the Data Protection Rules will need to be complied with.

While the Act or the Rules do not require private establishments to recruit PwD, they will now have to identify suitable posts for PwD, revisit their hiring practices and also remodel their HR policies where necessary.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.