Recruiting and employing disabled staff

Help disabled people to work for your business

You can encourage applications from, and avoid discrimination against, disabled people throughout the processes involved in recruiting and employing people.

Before advertising/recruitment

  • Avoid assumptions. Consider how – perhaps by slightly adjusting working environment or hours – the job could be done by various types of disabled people.
  • Is working from home an option?
  • What non-core functions could be reallocated elsewhere?

Advertising and recruitment

Job descriptions and person specifications shouldn’t discourage applications from disabled people. Include the phrase “applications from disabled people are particularly welcome”, or consider guaranteeing an interview for any disabled applicant who meets the minimum criteria. You may need to make adverts and documentation available in other formats, eg large print, and be prepared to accept applications in other ways, eg on tape.

Interviews and selection

Ensure the location and venue are accessible, and that selection procedures like tests don’t disadvantage disabled candidates.


Consider whether your induction training is accessible for disabled people. Ask the recruit about access needs during the induction.


Consider any needs of disabled people for training – eg your training programme should take into account an individual’s learning disability or condition, such as chronic backache.

Career development

Allow, and make adjustments for, disabled employees to undergo all training on offer and be fully involved in staff meetings. Don’t overlook disabled employees for promotion because they cannot do a certain task – it might be reasonable to assign tasks to other members of staff.

Disciplinary action

When you take disciplinary action against a disabled employee, ensure you’ve considered any reasons related to their disability for them behaving in the way that prompted the disciplinary action.

Assessing performance and capability

Make allowance for the disability when deciding whether their attendance/performance meets the needs of the job and your business. Some employers might offer ‘disability leave’ as a reasonable adjustment, ie where any absence necessitated by a disability is not counted.


Apply the same arrangements and requirements for redundancy for disabled people as for others. Ensure your selection criteria for redundancies don’t discriminate against disabled employees.


Take into account and prioritise the needs of disabled people when assessing your risks.

Business Advice – Recruiting & Employing Disabled Staff
Crown Copyright © 2004-2012
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