A disability is a physical, mental, cognitive, sensory, emotional or developmental impairment, limitation or ‘participation restriction’ which makes it harder or impossible for someone to perform an action or task to the same level as someone without the disability.
Discriminating against people with disabilities is covered extensively in law. Under the Equality Act 2010, which defines disability as a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities, employers must not give preferential treatment to non-disabled people with regard to many employment areas including application forms, interview arrangements, employment terms, dismissals and redundancies.
Employers must also make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to avoid putting disabled people at a disadvantage in the workplace. This may include buying special equipment or providing provision for flexible or home working.
The Equality Act 2010 also makes specific provisions about the interview process. Employers can request limited information about the disability, and only:
- To clarify whether you can carry out the duties of the role being filled
- To find out if you are able to partake in the interview process
- To find out If the employer must make additional provisions to ensure you aren’t disadvantaged in the interview process
- To assist with monitoring of recruitment practices
- To assist efforts to increase the number of disabled people in the workforce
- If the information required for national security matters