Understanding The Current UK Legislation Including Definitions Of Disability

Welcome To The Yourcounty Jobs For Disabled People Page

Yourcounty has been publishing job help and recruitment information for over 10 years, in that time the quality and quantity of our coverage has been improved and developed by both our users and researchers. If you would like to suggest a change or addition to this page we'd like to hear from you, our contact details are at the foot of this page. You can follow this link if you'd like to access more employers and jobs in Kent.

The aim of this feature is to:

  • provide some general help and advice based on our current understanding of legislation
  • publish some relevant information and links to reliable sources for more research
  • add some value by sharing user feedback

If you're looking for Jobseeker Allowance help, this is now on a separate page.

Defining Disability From An Employment Perspective

For most people there is a reasonably clear understanding between who is disabled and who is not. Where the distinction is not clear we can try to fall back on legislation. The 2010 Equality Act regards a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a long term and substantial impact on their ability to carry out day to day activities. Whilst phrases like 'substantial' and 'long term' are open to interpretation, a general definition of substantial is; where there are significant problems completing certain basic tasks, long term is frequently used to describe a condition that is present for more than a year.

We publish links to more help in the resources section below, including guidance notes to the 2010 Act. Please note that there is separate legislation for Northern Ireland, you should refer to the NI Direct service (also linked below).

Eligibility For Employment

As a starting point a job description or candidate profile should not exclude or discourage a disabled person from applying. The employer should make 'reasonable adjustments' to allow a disabled candidate to take part in the recruitment process, and if successful carry out the job. For example holding an interview in a location that is accessible to all short listed candidates. The same principle should apply if a disabled person is offered a job 'reasonable adjustment' should be made to allow the successful candidate to take up the offer of employment.

Funding may be available to assist employers making facilities in the workplace accessible to disabled employees. You can get more advice about what is likely to constitute 'reasonable adjustment' from your local Jobcentre Plus.

So in essence a person with disabilities can consider applying for any job vacancy where they meet the minimum requirements of the job description or person specification. If in doubt always refer to the local Jobcentre for help and advice.

Positive Discrimination

Employers may use a 'Two Ticks' symbol on a job advertisement with permission from the Jobcentre to show that they actively welcome applications from disabled candidates. Use of the Two Ticks normally requires an employer to:

  • commit to interview all disabled candidates that meet the minimum job requirements
  • provide appropriate support for existing disabled employees
  • create the best possible conditions to retain employees when they become disabled
  • encourage a working environment where all employees have a good understanding of issues connected to disability in the workplace
  • have a system of ongoing improvement and development connected to these strategies

Resources And More Help

If you would like to take your research a step further take a look at the Equality Act 2010, this can be found at legislation.gov.uk - www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/6. Follow this link if you need the Equality Act Guidance Notes - http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wor/new/ea-guide.pdf.

To search for relevant job vacancies follow this link for the Yourcounty Universal Jobsearch page.

For information and help for people living in Northern Ireland you can visit the NI Direct Definition of Disability pages - http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/definition-of-disability .

For even more help this link takes you to the CAB Disability Discrimination feature - .http://www.adviceguide.org.uk

If you find that any links are broken or content out of date let us know. This is a page under constant improvement. We welcome feedback on from users with direct experience of the agencies linked from this page and their services. Please see our disclaimer.