Other sections in Equality and Diversity:
If you have a disability or experience challenges relating to your health and wellbeing, you may feel you need extra support when planning your career. In addition to our general careers services, we also provide specialist information and support throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This support includes appointments with Careers staff who can advise on:
Look on TARGETconnect for appointments with Yvonne Drakeley, Specialist Careers and Employment Adviser (Disability) or contact DisabilityCareersAdviser@lancaster.ac.uk to book an appointment.
We are committed to ensuring that all students have full access to all our services and facilities. If you need access to information in a different format, or are unable to attend a specific careers/employability appointment or workshop because of accessibility or other disability-related reasons, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be able to assist you.
The association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) have produced a series of three video guides for students and graduates with a disability:
Guides for disabled students and graduates on job search, disclosure and adjustments in the workplace
Leonards Cheshire produce a careers guide for disabled students, written by disabled students.This is Your Future: Change 100
The following websites contain useful information about working with a disability and/or mental health condition, as well as general information.
Guidance around disability discrimination and the Equality Act 2010.
Leading disability charity run by and for people with lived experience of disability or health conditions.
Opportunities for disabled and dyslexic students & graduates.
Leading mental health charity campaigning to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Provides employment services to help people from a range of backgrounds to find and stay in work.
Information for students with a long-term health condition or disability when applying for graduate jobs including student blogs. Students are asked to join the club to access resources.
Vacancies with employers with a commitment to disabled job seekers. Also includes a careers advice section.
Worldwide information and news service for all disabled people and people with an interest in disability issues.
A national campaign to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination including advice on getting a job.
A range of services for disabled people and employers aimed at improving all aspects of the working environment.
National charity that provides practical support to blind and partially sighted people.
Help for blind and partially sighted graduates to compete equally with sighted candidates for good jobs, by providing help, support and training, and by removing barriers to success.
Offers support and help to people with hearing loss.
A social enterprise offering help to disabled jobseekers to find work.
Signs that an employer has disability-friendly policies or a disability-friendly workplace culture include the following:
Through this scheme, employers are supported to removing barriers to disabled people and those with long-term health conditions.
Some employers may choose to display this logo to show that they are accessible places of work.
Gives employers information and local support in relation to staff experiencing mental health conditions.
A not-for-profit organisation that helps organisations become fully accessible to disabled customers and employees.
Helps talented disabled candidates and inclusive employers to find each other; Evenbreak is run by disabled people, for disabled people.
List of the Top 50 UK employers promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
A careers website that works with employers committed to values, equality, respect, culture, inclusion, diversity, and accessibility.
Offers specialist careers advice to students who have a disability, as well as listing positive employers and job opportunities.
There are a number of programmes, insight days and internships that have been designed to help disabled students gain valuable work experience.
The following links provide information about some of these; any additional opportunities that we are notified about will be posted on the Disability Moodle Site in the Careers section.
An internship scheme aiming to bring together top UK employers with disabled students.
Lists events, internships, graduate roles and scholarships open to those with disabilities
BBC-wide scheme offering appropriately qualified disabled people the opportunity to gain a 6 month paid placement.
6 - 9 week paid placements to develop skills and abilities for Fast Stream entry.
Mentoring opportunities in London, focusing on jobs in the city.
Fully funded scholarship with the British Council Shanghai specifically for a student with a disability
Support to access placements with national companies who partner with this organisation to ensure that disabled young people do not miss out on valuable work experience.
There is no legal requirement for you to disclose a disability to an employer either during recruitment or in the workplace; it is entirely up to you and, if you do disclose, you can ask HR to keep it confidential.
There are strict restrictions on which health-related questions can be asked before a job offer is made, but employers can and should ask whether you would like any reasonable adjustments made (or have any access requirements) during the recruitment process. Graduate employers strongly advise you to tell them of any such adjustments or requirements, if it will help them to ensure that you are assessed on a level playing-field alongside non-disabled applicants.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers should not ask health-related questions before making a job offer, including questions relating to any time you have taken off sick.There are some exceptions where employers are permitted to ask about disability or your mental health:
Employers are obliged to consider making reasonable adjustments at interview stage should you request them. You may be asked if you have a disability or mental health condition as part of diversity monitoring within the company, but you do not have to answer this, and your answers should always be kept separate from any recruitment criteria and should not count against you in the recruitment process.
Knowing that you have a job offer may give you the confidence to disclose a disability or mental health problem, and discuss any reasonable adjustments that you may need. Employers are bound to consider providing such adjustments according to the criteria already discussed above.
You may feel more comfortable disclosing once you have secured a role, and you may choose to do this on your first day, whilst signing your contract, or at any other point, but it is best to do it as soon as possible.Working practices and technology change constantly. If there is a change to your work pattern or practice that is incompatible with your disability, you are within your rights to demand a reasonable adjustment, and this would be the point to disclose if you have not already done so. There are many benefits of disclosing and letting HR, your manager, and/or your team know:
According to the Equality Act, a disability means a physical or a mental health condition which has a substantial and long-term impact on your ability to do normal day to day activities.
The Equality Act 2010 protects those with a physical or mental health disability against discrimination when applying for jobs, and from less favourable treatment when in employment. An employer is legally required to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process and in the workplace to prevent the disabled person being at a disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person – as long as they could be reasonably expected to know about the disability. It is illegal for employers not to hire a candidate because they’d have to make reasonable adjustments – however, there may be exemptions if it is a genuine occupational requirement or objective justification.
An occupational requirement or occupational qualification is when the nature of a particular job means that an applicant with a protected characteristic can reasonably be chosen over another. Where having a protected characteristic is an occupational requirement, certain jobs can be reserved for people with that protected characteristic (for example, women support workers in women's refuges; ministers of religion).
The organisation must be able to show that there is a good reason for the occupational requirement. This is known as objective justification.
There are 8 possible reasons for claiming an occupational requirement when recruiting:
In each of these, reasons must be specific and absolute, not based on stereotypes or generalised assumptions.
Objective justification gives a defence for applying a policy, rule or practice that would otherwise be unlawful indirect discrimination.
It also gives a defence for using a rule or practice based on someone's age, that would otherwise be direct discrimination.
To rely on the objective justification defence, the employer must show that its policy or age-based rule was for a good reason – that is 'a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim'.
To prove objective justification:
This happens when someone treats you worse than another person in a similar situation because of disability. For example:
Indirect discrimination happens when an organisation has a particular policy or way of working that has a worse impact on disabled people compared to people who are not disabled.
Indirect disability discrimination is unlawful unless the organisation or employer is able to show that there is a good reason for the policy and it is proportionate.
This is known as objective justification. For example:
Under the Equality Act employers and organisations have a responsibility to make sure that disabled people can access jobs, education and services as easily as non-disabled people. This is known as the ‘duty to make reasonable adjustments’.
Disabled people can experience discrimination if the employer or organisation doesn’t make a reasonable adjustment. This is known as a ‘failure to make reasonable adjustments’. For example:
What is reasonable depends on a number of factors, including the resources available to the organisation making the adjustment. If an organisation already has a number of parking spaces it would be reasonable for it to designate one close to the entrance for the employee.
The Equality Act also protects people from discrimination arising from disability.
This protects you from being treated badly because of something connected to your disability, such as having an assistance dog or needing time off for medical appointments. This does not apply unless the person who discriminated against you knew you had a disability or ought to have known. For example:
Discrimination arising from disability is unlawful unless the organisation or employer is able to show that there is a good reason for the treatment and it is proportionate. This is known as objective justification. For example:
Harassment occurs when someone treats you in a way that makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded. for example:
Harassment can never be justified. However, if an organisation or employer can show it did everything it could to prevent people who work for it from behaving like that, you will not be able to make a claim for harassment against it, although you could make a claim against the harasser.
This is when you are treated badly because you have made a complaint of discrimination under the Equality Act. It can also occur if you are supporting someone who has made a complaint of discrimination. For example:
1. When applying for jobs, find out if the organisations have an occupational health service. Occupational health is a specialist branch of medicine that focuses on the physical and mental wellbeing of employees in the workplace.Through occupational health, you can have a pre-employment health assessment, which can be helpful to find out what your needs may be, what you might be entitled to, and and how to prevent illness and the worsening of conditions.
2. You should also look out for organisations that have Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP). EAPs are offered as benefits and are intended to give advice regarding health and wellbeing, with some services also offering counselling services.
3. Recognise and accept your limits and create clear boundaries between work and home. When living with a long-term condition, daily life can be more difficult than for those without such conditions, and workplace stress and being hard on yourself can impact negatively on your health.
4. If you choose to disclose, be open and honest. This will encourage an honest and open relationship with your manager and colleagues, the ability to discuss your needs and adjustments, and also shows that occasional poor performance and absence is due to a long-term illness.