Declaring disabilities on job applications.
10 Reasons Why You Should Declare Your Disabilities on Job Applications & 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t.
Here are the reasons why you SHOULD declare your disability on job applications:
- Employment is covered by the Disability Discrimination Act and Equality Act. This means it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against people with disabilities in their recruitment and selection procedures.
- If you declare and then subsequently feel that you have been discriminated against then you can take a claim to an employment tribunal. A company cannot reject you because you are disabled if a reasonable adjustment can be made to accommodate you.
- If you declare your disability in your applications you will have more control over the way that you project it. You can give your disability positive spin. I’ I have a physical disability and I coach a Paralympic swimming team” or “Because of my hearing impairment I have an enhanced ability to concentrate which in turn has developed my ability to perform complex tasks such as entering and analysing data on spread sheets”.
- If you don’t make accurate declarations of your disability on a health questionnaire the employer may have grounds to subsequently dismiss you.
- If your disabilities have any health and safety implications for you or other employees, you are legally obliged to tell your employer.
- You will give your self the opportunity to discuss with the employer, the possibility of reasonable adjustments and the support you can get from access to work to make those adjustments.
- Disclosure will generate an open and trustful relationship between you and your prospective employer where you communicate well and openly.
- You will be able from the outset to deal with misconceptions about your disabilities.
- If your employer is aware of your disabilities they will be more able to be responsive to your needs particularly if there is an emergency or a crisis.
- If your disabilities has an impact upon you work this will not be misinterpreted as a performance issue.
Here are the reasons why you SHOULDN’T disclose your disabilities on your job applications.
- You might feel uncomfortable disclosing and then having to discuss your disabilities with a stranger.
- Your disabilities will have no impact on your ability to the job and no reasonable adjustments will need to be made for you.
- You feel that you may be discriminated against.
If you are still not sure? Talk through you decision with your career coach or someone you trust
Vocational rehabilitation the case for an independent provider like Enable Works Ltd.
When the health condition or disability arises out of the workplace through injury or other circumstances beyond the control of the employee. The employee when returning following a period of absence may lack trust and confidence in their employer and in any employer-based services designed to help them. For these reasons they will have more confidence in and are therefore more likely to engage with an independent provider.
The vocational rehabilitation provider is more likely to be perceived as unbiased. They can then be an effective mediator for between the employee and the employer. This will encourage effective and focused dialogue and in turn a successful return to work plan.
The vocational rehabilitation independent provider can provide completely unbiased assessments including ‘functional capacity assessments’ which have built in reliability testing (validated tests, consistency tests and distraction tests) so they cannot be biased in favor of the employee or the employer.
The vocational rehabilitation provider can provide creative and realistic reasonable adjustment advice. This is based on specialist experience and expertise. They can also provide rehabilitation interventions, preparing individuals for their return to work. They can also in consultation with employers, design and monitor return to work schedules.
Reasonable adjustment advice for employers
The overall aim as an employer of making reasonable adjustments for disabled workers should be to as far as possible, to remove or reduce any disadvantage faced by a disabled worker.
In cases of ‘reasonable adjustment’ it is acceptable to treat disabled people better or ‘more favourably’ than non-disabled people and sometimes this may be part of the solution:
1:How effective is the adjustment you are considering going to be in compensating for the disadvantage experienced by the disabled worker?
The adjustment should make a difference and enable the worker to be effective in their role for you. It should go some way or all of the way towards reducing the disadvantage experienced by the disabled worker. It may be necessary to make more than one adjustment, but together all of the adjustments should be effective in reducing the disadvantage for the disabled worker.
2: How practical is the reasonable adjustment for you to implement the change?
The easier an adjustment is, the more likely it is to be reasonable. However, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it can’t also be reasonable. You need to balance this against other factors.
3: How much is the reasonable adjustment going to cost?
If an adjustment costs little or nothing and is not disruptive, it would be reasonable unless some other factor (such as impracticality or lack of effectiveness) made it unreasonable.
4: Does your organisation have the resources and the finances to make the reasonable adjustment?
If an adjustment costs a significant amount, it is more likely to be reasonable for you to make it if you have substantial financial resources at your disposal. Your resources must be looked at across your whole organisation, not just for the branch or section where the disabled person is or would be working. This is an issue which you have to balance against the other factors within the business.