Ten top tips to ensure that you don’t miss out on disabled talent:
- Operate a guaranteed interview scheme. In a recruitment process, it is acknowledged within the Equality Act 2010 that disabled people need additional support to enable them to live and work on an equal basis. Therefore, it is lawful to guarantee interviews for disabled people who meet the criteria for the on and off-screen roles.
- You can also limit casting for on screen roles to disabled people, even when the character you’re casting isn’t disabled, if your company’s policy is to help increase the number of disabled people in the industry.
- Equality law requires you to consider making simple “reasonable adjustments” to remove barriers to disabled talent applying for roles and attending interviews. When considering what you might need to do to accommodate the needs of disabled applicants, you can also decide not to make particular adjustments if they are deemed too financially or operationally disadvantageous and therefore make a production unviable.
- Examples of reasonable adjustments include:
– asking applicants in advance to let you know if they are disabled and have any access requirements – such as bringing a guide dog to interview, requiring large print documents due to a visual impairment or needing a wheelchair accessible space
– holding your interviews in an accessible location – both the building and the room where interviews take place
– when appropriate (as for example in the case of interviewing a person with a learning difficulty) giving disabled applicants additional time to complete a test
– facilitating a carer to attend an interview – and to participate if the applicant requests it.
- Do think carefully about what requirements really are necessary or essential to carrying out a role, and whether there are simple workarounds, which prevent you unnecessarily ruling out a disabled applicant.
- Don’t make assumptions about the type of person you see carrying out the role, which might prejudice you against a disabled applicant.
- Do check out the Government’s Access To Work Scheme or other schemes, which provide financial or other assistance to help companies increase employment opportunities for disabled workers.
- Don’t ask unnecessary questions about a person’s disability and suitability for the role, unless it is to:
– see if they may require reasonable adjustments to attend the interview or carry out the role:
– check that a candidate is disabled/has an impairment when this is a genuine requirement of the role
– clarify whether there are any essential requirements to carry out the role, which might rule out applicants with a particular impairment
More information about asking questions about disability
- Don’t set tests which may not be relevant to the skills required for a role and might be particularly disadvantageous to a disabled applicant.
- Ensure your job adverts or role descriptions don’t inadvertently discriminate against disabled applicants by using particular, irrelevant language – such as fit, or energetic or asking for hand-written applications.