Employing disabled people


Can an employer ask me about my disability at interview?

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An employer must take particular care regarding job applicants’ health and any disability.

This is to prevent employers discriminating against individuals with health conditions. Job offers should be made on the basis of merit.

As a result, there are laws on what and when an employer can ask about an applicant’s health.

You should note that an employer can ask applicants if they need any ‘reasonable adjustments’, sometimes also called ‘access requirements’, for any part of the recruitment process.

But an employer should take care not to ask a candidate whether he or she is disabled.

If you volunteer information about a disability or health condition, interviewers/employers cannot ask further questions about it or let it influence their recruitment decisions, apart from in very limited and set circumstances.

There are only four circumstances under the Equality Act in which it is allowed, and they apply to interviews, questionnaires and all other selection methods. They are:

+ To find out if an applicant can carry out a function that’s essential to the role. This could also be to help employers work out if an applicant could do the function with reasonable adjustments made for them.
+ To take ‘positive action’ to assist applicants with disabilities. Employers may take steps to remove barriers or disadvantages and give support and encouragement to employees and job applicants with disabilities. But they’ll have to show that other groups aren’t discriminated against as a result.
+ For monitoring purposes so that employers know the diversity of candidates. This is usually done without revealing an applicant’s identity and not as part of selection decisions.
+ To check a candidate has a specific disability where having such is a genuine requirement of the job. Such ‘occupational requirements’ are governed by their own rules under the Equality Act, and cannot just be down to an employer’s preferences.

more information here:http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5564

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