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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-confident-guidance-for-levels-1-2-and-3/level-1-disability-confident-committed
Disability Confident is creating a movement of change, encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.
Being Disability Confident is a unique opportunity to lead the way in your community, and you might just discover someone your business cannot do without.
It was developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives to make it rigorous but easily accessible – particularly for smaller businesses. The scheme is voluntary and access to the guidance, self-assessments and resources is completely free.
There are 3 levels designed to support you on your Disability Confident journey:
- Disability Confident Committed (level 1)
- Disability Confident Employer (level 2)
- Disability Confident Leader (level 3)
You must complete each level before moving on to the next.
Accreditation for a Disability Confident Committed employer lasts for 3 years. If during that period, you’ve progressed to a higher level, then the 3-year period will restart at the new level. If you reach the end of the 3-year period without progressing, you’ll be able to renew your accreditation.
Your journey starts with:
- reading this pack
- providing your contact details on our website
- signing up to the Disability Confident commitments
- identifying at least 1 action that you’ll do
Once you’ve read this guidance, sign up to become Disability Confident Committed.
The Disability Confident commitments
To become a Disability Confident Committed employer and start your Disability Confident journey, you’ll need to consider the 5 commitments below and then sign up on the Disability Confident registration page.
In addition, you’ll also commit to carry out at least 1 activity from the 9 in the additional list that will make a difference to disabled people. You should deliver on these commitments over the period of your accreditation.
1. Ensure your recruitment process is inclusive and accessible
- ensuring against discrimination
- making job adverts accessible
- providing information in accessible formats (for example, large print)
- accepting applications in alternative formats (for example, electronically)
Guidance is available on:
- recruitment and disabled people
- asking questions during recruitment about disability and health
- accessible communication formats
- the Access to Work guide for employers
2. Communicate and promote vacancies
- advertising vacancies through a range of channels, and use your Disability Confident badge to make sure potential applicants know you’re an inclusive employer
- getting advice and support from Jobcentre Plus, Work and Health Programme providers, (if you’re in Scotland contact Fair Start Scotland) recruiters and your local disabled people’s user led organisations (DPULOs)
- reviewing current recruitment processes
Guidance is available on a range of communication channels to reach disabled people.
3. Offer an interview to disabled people
Encourage applications by offering an interview to an applicant who declares they have a disability.
This does not mean that all disabled people are entitled to an interview. They must meet the minimum criteria (for example, sometimes shown as desirable skills) for a job as defined by the employer.
The aim of this commitment is to encourage positive action, encouraging disabled people to apply for jobs and provide an opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities at the interview stage.
An employer can take steps to help or encourage certain groups of people with different needs, or who are disadvantaged in some way, to access work or training. Positive Action is lawful under the Equality Act.
It is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practicable or appropriate to interview all disabled people that meet the minimum criteria for the job. For example, in certain recruitment situations such as high number of applications, seasonal and high-peak times, the employer may wish to limit the overall numbers of interviews offered to both disabled people and non-disabled people.
In these circumstances the employer could select the disabled candidates who best meet the minimum criteria for the job rather than all of those that meet the minimum criteria, as they would do for non-disabled applicants.
Guidance is available on:
- Employing disabled people and people with health conditions
- Positive Action - What do I need to know
4. Anticipate and provide reasonable adjustments as required
Employers have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the workplace where a disabled person would otherwise be put at a substantial disadvantage compared with their colleagues.
Whether or not an adjustment has to be made depends on how ‘reasonable’ it is – and that’s something that will hinge on the individual circumstances of each case, and the resources of the employer. What’s seen as reasonable for a large multi-national company might not be seen as reasonable for a very small employer.
Note this is general advice only and cannot by its nature deal with all circumstances. It’s always best to seek your own, independent legal advice if you’re unsure of your obligations in specific circumstances.
Making reasonable adjustments (such as changes to working patterns, adaptations to premises or equipment and provision of support packages) will ensure disabled workers are not disadvantaged when applying for and doing their jobs. This includes contract workers, trainees, apprentices and business partners.
Many adjustments are straightforward and easy to carry out – particularly if there’s been a little lateral thinking about how an accommodation can be reached. Often these adjustments will cost nothing or very little.
Guidance is available at employing people: workplace adjustments.
5. Support any existing employee who acquires a disability or long term health condition, enabling them to stay in work
Retaining an employee who’s become disabled means keeping their valuable skills and experience and saving on the cost of recruiting a replacement.
More information is available from:
- the Access to Work guide for employers
- CIPD and MIND supporting mental health at work
- the Business in the Community Mental Health Toolkit for employers
- Mind – Mental Health at Work gateway
- the musculoskeletal health in the work place tool kit
Activity that will make a difference for disabled people
To become Disability Confident Committed, you must also commit to offering disabled people at least 1 of the actions listed below.
1. Work experience
This is usually a fixed period of time that a person spends with your business, when they can learn about working life and the working environment.
2. Work trials
This is a way of trying out a potential employee before offering them a job. This can be informal or can be by agreement with Jobcentre Plus. If this is agreed with Jobcentre Plus, an employer can offer a work trial if the job it may lead to is for 16 hours or more a week and lasts for at least 13 weeks. The work trial can last for up to 30 days.
3. Paid employment (permanent or fixed term)
Jobcentre Plus offers a range of recruitment services and guidance that can help you as an employer. For example:
These are for new and current employees. They combine working with studying for a work-based qualification. If your business is based in England, you could get a grant or funding to employ an apprentice.
5. Job shadowing opportunities
- offer potential employees experience of a workplace and occupational skills that are different from what they’re used to
- are usually limited to observation only, are non-paid and do not give direct work experience, responsibility or skills
- ideally last between half a day and 2 days
These help young people who want to get an apprenticeship or job but do not yet have the right skills or experience.
7. Paid internships and supported internships
This is a period of paid work experience lasting between 1 and 4 months, usually taking place during the summer. A supported internship is aimed at disabled people still in education who are seeking work experience.
Read more about:
- Providing a quality internship
- Advertising an internship
- Leonard Cheshire Change 100 internship support
8. Student placements
These are university or college qualifications. They’re usually for a set period of time, between 4 to 6 months.
9. Sector-based work academy placements
These help you fill vacancies more effectively. They’re available through Jobcentre Plus. They provide sector-based training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview.
What happens next?
When you’ve read this guidance and agreed to the commitments and at least 1 action from the activites list, you’ll need to sign up as Disability Confident Committed.
You need to do this before you can move on to the next stage.
You’ll be asked to:
- provide your contact details
- agree to the Disability Confident commitments
- identify at least 1 action that you’ll commit to do
In return we’ll send you:
- a confirmation email with links to a welcome pack and additional resources
- a certificate in recognition of your achievement as a Disability Confident Committed employer
- a Disability Confident Committed badge that you can use in your own business stationery and communications for 3 years
- information on taking the next step to become a Disability Confident Employer
As a Disability Confident Committed employer, we’ll include your business name, town, postcode and Disability Confident status on the list of Disability Confident employers that have signed up to the scheme.
Disability Confident branding guidelines:
You can find a copy of the Disability Confident branding guidelines on the Disability Confident website.
If you require a copy of your Disability Confident badge in a different format, please email the Disability Confident team firstname.lastname@example.org.
Definition of disability
Someone is disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This means that, in general, the:
- person must have an impairment that is either physical or mental
- impairment must have adverse effects that are substantial
- substantial adverse effects must be long-term, generally taken to mean for longer than 12 months
- long-term substantial adverse effects must be effects on normal day-to-day activities, such as a breathing condition that impedes walking or moving around, or a mental health condition that impedes interacting with other people
A condition that impeded participation in high level competitive sport, or that prevented playing a musical instrument to concert level performance, but that still allowed normal day to day activities would generally not be seen as a disability under the Equality Act.
Long-term health conditions
Examples of long-term conditions include:
- high blood pressure
Long-term conditions can affect many parts of a person’s life, from their ability to work and have relationships, to their housing needs and educational attainment.
Mental health conditions
A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on your normal day-to-day activity. This is defined under the Equality Act 2010.
A condition is ‘long-term’ if it lasts, or is likely to last, 12 months.
‘Normal day-to-day activity’ is defined as something you do regularly in a normal day, such as using a computer, working set times or interacting with people.
If a mental health condition means they’re disabled, they can get support at work from their employer.
There are many different types of mental health condition, including:
- bipolar disorder
- obsessive compulsive disorder
What is not counted as a disability?
Guidance is available on conditions that are not covered by the disability definition, for example addiction to non-prescribed drugs or alcohol.
More information and guidance:
Mencap Good for Business – The benefits of employing people with a learning disability.