DAA News Network

Job Seekers With Disabilities Face Discrimination At Application Stage, UK

Posted 07/7-09 at 19.15

In a snapshot survey published by Terrence Higgins Trust, two thirds of top organisations were found to ask irrelevant health related questions on job application forms.

A coalition of charities wants these questions banned to reduce the discrimination faced by people with 'invisible' conditions such as mental illness or HIV.

Terence Higgins Ttrust  surveyed the application forms of 50 organisations including charities, local councils, government departments, police forces, fire brigades, health services, law firms, colleges, and housing and construction companies. 66% asked medical questions on their application forms including questions asking whether candidates have specific disabilities.

Some companies also expect candidates to undergo medical examinations and even blood tests, prior to being offered jobs. Under the current system, employers are allowed to ask about disabilities, if the candidate is taking medication or has a medical condition - even if it has no relevance to the job.

This can lead to discrimination and allows employers to make decisions based on prejudice, rather than ability. The coalition wants to see the Equality Bill amended to prevent this from happening.

In the United States and a significant number of EU member states, pre-interview disclosure is against the law, offering significant protection to people with disabilities and long-term medical conditions.

THT is running an e-campaign against discrimination in recruitment. People can sign up by visiting www.tht.org.uk/campaign

Source Terence Higgins Trust




Comment added 26/1-11 at 11.36 by: author (heatherwatts@msn.com)

i ve been seeking employment since august 2010 with no joy.i have angina ,high blood pressure,and trpe 2 diabetes,every application form i fill in it asks about mdeical conditions ?i am well controlled on my medication and the dvla wouldnt renew my hgv licence without a medical. it took 4 months for the dvla to make a decision.no one would say if icould drive this includes my gp and the dvla. however after 4 months i was given my licence back and declared fit to drive. but they have only renewed it for 3 years.i i was told that this is illegal to ask medical questions at application stage.i feel descriminated against, i 've worked hard all my life to support myself and my family however at 46 i feel i am on the scrap heap. is there any way we can lobby parliment to change this discrimination?

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