FAQs

General

Employers

Students & Graduates

General

What is the definition of disability?

The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. A person who falls within this definition is afforded special protection in law. Disability includes physical impairments, sensory impairments, neurodiversity (for example autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and ADHD), mental health and long-term health conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, cancer and HIV).

Please call us for a chat if you're unsure.

What is a "reasonable" adjustment?

It is best practice to assume that a request for an adjustment is reasonable, wherever possible. Whether or not an adjustment is reasonable is an objective test, and can only be decided by an employment tribunal, based on the particulars of the case. This can depend on the size of the organisation and its resources, the impact of a person’s disability and how effective the adjustment would be, and any adjustments already provided.

Who bears the cost of adjustments?

Employers must pay for any adjustments. However, there may be financial support available via Access to Work. Most adjustments are relatively inexpensive.

What are examples of adjustments?

Adjustments come in many forms, and those for the recruitment process may be different from workplace adjustments. Some examples include extra time, information in a different format, adjustments to premises or workstations, flexible hours or place of work, rest breaks, specialist software. However, adjustments must always be based upon the particular needs of the individual and not upon any prescriptive list.

Employers

What if I don’t know that my employee has a disability?

You must provide an employee with adjustments if you know, or should reasonably know, that they have a disability. We give detailed guidance for specific cases.

Can I ask questions about a candidate’s disability during the recruitment process?

No. The Equality Act 2010 contains a ban on asking disability or health related questions during the recruitment process, and you will be at risk of a claim for discrimination should you do so. There are some very limited exceptions to this, including the right to ask if a person requires adjustments during the recruitment process. Please contact us if you have particular queries in this respect. 

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We want to know what adjustments we should be making to support a disabled employee. Can you help?

Yes, we can work with the employee and with you to understand the effects of their disability in the workplace, to determine what adjustments they require. We also provide specific training to their team-members and managers, as well as ongoing support.

My organisation is based outside of London. Can you still support us?

Yes, our clients have offices across the country and globally.

What duties does my organisation have?

Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 imposes a duty upon an employer to make reasonable adjustments, if the physical features of the work premises or the working arrangements, are the prohibiting factor to a disabled person gaining or staying in employment.

A candidate has asked for an adjustment in the recruitment process. Should I ask for proof of their disability?

No. This doesn’t accord with best practice, is likely discriminatory contrary to the prohibitions set down in Article 60 of the Equality Act, and may be a breach of GDPR. For further information please contact us, and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

A new employee requires a full-time support worker. How much money will this cost the organisation?

The cost of a support worker in the workplace is usually covered by Access to Work (AtW). AtW may also pay for other adjustments such as specialist software or equipment, communication support, travel costs to and from work and meetings, and mental health support.

Can you help us to retain our neurodiverse and disabled employees?

Yes. EmployAbility designs, implements and supports processes to help you retain your disabled employees. Contact us to find out more.

How do we become a disability-inclusive employer?

To be a Next Generation Inclusive Employer, put best practice at the heart of your business culture. Adopt equitable and compliant recruitment and workplace processes, educate your team, message your intention, and measure your successes. Contact us to find out more.

What happens if I don’t provide an adequate adjustment in recruitment or the workplace?

Your organisation may be in breach of section 21 of the Equality Act, and will be at risk of a claim for discrimination. If you believe you cannot or need not provide an adjustment for whatever reason, you should consider the matter carefully before refusing any request, and document your reasons. Please contact us if you would like advice. 

We want to attract more neurodiverse and disabled talent. Can you help?

Yes. We can directly help you to attract neurodiverse and disabled students and graduates, through our partnership programmes. Our consultancy services also enable you to reach a broader pool of talent for other hires, by supporting you to build genuinely inclusive practices, and messaging your commitment. Contact us for more details.

Students & Graduates

Do I have to tell EmployAbility about my disability?

Yes. We are here to support and advise you with any adjustments you may need. In order to do this, we need to discuss the impact of your disability. We only tell an employer about your adjustments, not your disability.

I asked for adjustments in the recruitment process and have been asked to provide evidence of my disability. Do I have to provide this?

No. Under section 60 of the Equality Act 2010, an employer cannot ask you any questions about your disability. They can’t ask for evidence that you have a disability, what that disability is, or proof that you need the adjustments you say you do. They can’t ask for medical reports, educational psychologist reports, or any other information about your disability.

I am a graduate. Can I still apply to internship programmes?

Most employers require you to be a penultimate year student when applying to internship programmes. However, applying to programmes through us offers more flexibility. Please contact us to discuss any specific programmes.

Do I have to tell a prospective employer about my disability?

No. Under section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 an employer cannot ask you whether you have a disability, or any details about it. However, exceptions are where an employer is running a positive action programme, or disability is a qualification for the job, in which case they may ask you. Employers can and should ask what adjustments you need for each stage of the recruitment process. If you want to tell them about your disability, that is your choice. To find out more, watch our webinar Your Rights: Privacy and Adjustments.

I might need some adjustments in the recruitment process, but I don’t know which ones. Can you help?

Absolutely. We will advise you on any adjustments you may need for tests, interviews or assessment exercises. And, if you want us to, we can also advocate on your behalf to communicate your adjustments to any employer.

When should I apply for internships or graduate programmes?

Programmes can open for application as early as July or August, with the remainder opening in September. The earlier you apply the better, and we would urge you to do so as soon as you can after a programme has become live on our website. Places are limited, and often filled well before the deadline.

Can you help me with my application form and CV before I submit them?

Yes, we can provide comprehensive advice and guidance for making these as impactful as possible.

If I ask for an adjustment, will the employer discriminate against me?

It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability, and any employer who does so opens themself up to a claim. However, we recommend you thoroughly research any organisation you are applying to, in order to satisfy yourself that they are disability inclusive. You should always ask for the adjustments you need so that you’re not at a disadvantage.

Can I apply to internships or graduate programmes through you if I do not have a disability?

No. Our opportunities are only open to students and graduates with disabilities. Non-disabled applicants can apply directly to the employer.

I am applying for a graduate role, but not with an EmployAbility partner company. Can you still support me?

Yes. We can still offer you support and advice on your application, and on any adjustments for the recruitment process, and if successful for the workplace. We can also liaise directly with the employer about the adjustments you need.

Contact the team

Got any questions, get in touch to find out how EmployAbility can help.

Students and Graduates can take advantage of our service for free by registering with us.

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