Avoiding Disability Discrimination in Job Adverts (by Emma Bagshaw)
Job adverts are used to advertise vacant jobs within a company. At their most basic they include details about the role, the required qualifications, and how to apply. Given that many of the best candidates are also disabled, employers must take care that their job adverts do not discriminate, or turn off disabled workers from applying.
What does the law say?
The Equality Act 2010 states the employers must not discriminate against disabled candidates when deciding who to recruit. A discriminatory advert will be strong evidence that a company has a policy of not recruiting disabled workers. Employers are also required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled candidates so that they can compete with non-disabled candidates.
Can you positively discriminate in favour of disabled candidates?
Yes! The law allows an employer to favour disabled candidates. This may be by offering a guaranteed interview. The law recognises that many disabled people face barriers to employment.
What are the best ways to avoid disability discrimination in a job advert?
- Be objective about what you need from the role, and ensure that the job advert reflects the actual requirements of the role, e.g. don’t require someone to be able to drive when the job is office based.
- Make the job advert available in alternatives formats. For example, large print, Braille, audio or paper based (where internet only).
- Advertise using recruitment methods which reach disabled workers. Evenbreak is a good example!
- Ensure that any images do not suggest that applications from disabled workers would not be welcome. Take care if you advertise using video content
- Ensure video content has the correct subtitles or captions.
- Don’t include any obvious discriminatory language e.g. ‘unsuitable for those with a mental health condition’ or ‘unsuitable for someone with a disability’.
- Include a statement confirming the company’s commitment to equal opportunities.
(Emma Bagshaw is a Consultant Senior Solicitor at Seabury Beaumont Legal Ltd. Contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org.)