The art of the perfect fit

When to Disclose a Disability in the UK Recruitment Process?

Posted by sandy in News · February 2024

Sandy, our Administrator here at DRAW looks at when to disclose a disability in the UK recruitment process.

A question that we are often asked by candidates is when, and if, they should disclose a disability or health condition, to a potential employer during the recruitment process here in the UK. It’s an understandably daunting prospect. In this post, I’ll outline the legalities and then some thoughts from our consultants, informed by years of working in the art industry, HR, recruitment and beyond.

The Legalities

The most important thing to remember is that you are never legally required to disclose anything about your health, if you don’t want to. It’s always your choice, and potential employers (or even your actual employer) are not permitted to ask you to make any disclosures. The Equalities Act of 2010 legislates that a disability or a health condition are protected characteristics, and must be treated as such. Employers, and potential employers, may not discriminate against you based on a protected characteristic. It is always your choice to share any information relating to your health with work. So, from here, there are two main things to remember. The first is that a potential employer cannot withdraw a job offer if you disclose a disability or health condition, and if they engage you to work for them they must make reasonable adjustments for you. If they cannot make reasonable adjustment and accommodations, then and only then they may withdraw a job offer.

Our Consultants’ Thoughts

Overwhelmingly, our consultants reiterated that any disclosure is always your own choice, and you should feel empowered by that. Unless you need specific accommodations to attend an interview, go to the first interview based off your CV and skills alone – that’s what’s got you there! After all, at this stage you are deciding whether you want to work for this company just as much as they are assessing you. Once you’ve been offered a job, if you wish to disclose your condition, then do so positively and without apology, with clear positive suggestions of the accommodations or adjustments you need. This company want you to work for them, and thankfully times are moving forward in this regard. Framing additional needs in a positive, no nonsense way puts in place a precedent of how to discuss it in future, should you need to. Clear, practicable suggestions of exactly what the accommodations you need are show you are ready to start and have considered things thoroughly. Again – this is always your choice. You need never disclose anything about your condition if you don’t want to – just remember employers can’t make accommodations if they don’t know you need them.

Here at DRAW, we firmly believe that all candidates should be treated fairly and equally, and are ready to help you present your best and full self as a candidate. You can share any conditions with us if you feel it would help us understand you better, or if you need us to make accommodations for you, but you are never required to tell us. We adhere to the Equalities Act of 2010, and our own code of ethics mean we do not discriminate based on protected characteristics, and have committed to further external equality and diversity training.

The following post is based on the UK job market and legislation, in particular the Equalities Act of 2010, and should be taken as opinion rather treated as advice.

To see the full Equalities Act 2010:

Notes from DRAW · 26.02.2024

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