Your rights as a disabled job-seeker or employee
Understanding the law will allow you to advocate for yourself and know your rights as a disabled job-seeker or employee. The Equality Act 2010 ensures that individuals with disabilities or health conditions are treated fairly, including during the application process for jobs and in the workplace. The GOV.UK website provides a brief overview of what this means for employment and recruitment.
Common legal terms explained
Under the Equality Act 2010, you are considered disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. This is explained really well on the ACAS website.
This is the formal, legal term for sharing information about your disability, health condition or neurodiversity with a prospective or actual employer.
These are changes that organisations, educational institutions and anyone providing public services or functions have to make for you if your disability puts you at a disadvantage compared with others who are not disabled. This includes adjustments in the workplace and during the recruitment process.
This language can feel quite negative: for example, talking about disclosure can sound like a disability or health condition needs to be hidden or that employers will look at a disabled candidate negatively. You may not identify or see yourself as disabled, but it is important to be aware of the legal language and definitions to understand that you may be considered disabled under the law and the protection and rights you have as a result.
Am I automatically protected under the Equality Act 2010?
Do I have to tell an employer if I have a disability?
Will the employer tell others in work about my disability?
What adjustments should I ask for?
What is disability discrimination?
What can I do if I think I have been discriminated against?
The Equality and Human Rights Commission provides detailed guidance to explain your rights under the Equality Act 2010. They have written a series of guides called ‘Your rights to equality in work’. Follow the links below to download a copy:
- Your rights to equality in work: when you apply for a job
- Your rights to equality in work: working hours, flexible working and time off
- Your rights to equality in work: pay and benefits
- Your rights to equality in work: training, development, promotion and transfer
- Your rights to equality in work: dismissal, redundancy, retirement and after you have left a job