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U.K. Disability Employment: Information & Resources

  • Synopsis: Last Revised/Updated: 2015-02-28 - Information on disability employment services and opportunities including DDA employer laws in the UK.

According to the World Bank, "The goal of employment policy for disabled people is full inclusion in the general labor market. Achieving that goal requires efforts in training and education, vocational rehabilitation, accessible transport, and the right to accommodations in the workplace. These accommodations include accessible work stations, job restructuring, and special equipment or assistive devices."

If you want to work but have a disability that makes working a problem you may be able to get help from the access to work scheme. This provides practical advice and support to help you overcome work-related obstacles. It can also give you grants towards extra employment costs. An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health condition to help you: start working, stay in work, move into self-employment or start a business. The money doesn't have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits. The grant is not for business start-up costs. How much you get depends on your circumstances.

Of the working-age people with disabilities in the UK, almost half are employed - but this figure should be higher. With the right support, many more could join their ranks.

The UK Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)

Employees with disabilities share the same general employment rights as other workers, but there are also some special provisions for them under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The main piece of legislation which makes it unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person in their terms of employment, promotion opportunities, by dismissing them or by subjecting them to any other detriment. All employers have to comply with this Act.

The DDA defines disability for the purposes of the Act: There must be a mental or physical condition which has a substantial and long-term adverse affect on the employee's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Long-term means that the condition must last, or be likely to last, for more than 12 months.

Looking For Work:

When you're looking for work, look for the 'positive about disabled people' symbol (with 2 ticks) on adverts and application forms. The symbol means the employer is committed to employing disabled people. If a job advert displays the symbol, you'll be guaranteed an interview if you meet the basic conditions for the job.

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure disabled workers aren't seriously disadvantaged when doing their jobs.

Your DEA can tell you about programs and grants to help you back into work. These include:

Quick Facts: Disability Confident

UK businesses are still discriminating against disabled workers as one in five feel they are unsupported and treated differently, according to law firm Leigh Day.

The organization's Purple Workforce report also found that almost half of disabled worker respondents admitted they would not feel comfortable disclosing a disability when applying for a new job.

Disability Confident is the name of a campaign initiated by the U.K. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) designed to help companies become more willing to employ disabled staff, by offering advice and breaking down unhelpful work-related myths.

Disability Confident - What Does it Mean- Disabled World - (2014-04-04)

Statistics: U.K. Disability Employment

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