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Less than a quarter of disabled people would disclose disability during hiring process

Less than a quarter (23%) of disabled people would disclose their disability in a job application raising fears that not enough is being done to include these workers.

Data from Evenbreak and YouGov’s study on disabled people’s perceptions of barriers to work also suggests 30% think employers only hire disabled people to fill a quota.

Survey findings also show that 22% of disabled applicants would not mention their disability during the recruitment process.

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Jane Hatton, CEO of Evenbreak, said this adds to the stress levels of disabled applicants and shows how far employers need to come to make these workers feel valued.

She said: “It’s clear that many disabled people have to think carefully about when, or if, to mention their disability to potential employers.

“This is a stress not encountered by the non-disabled candidates they may be competing against for jobs.”

The release of the survey results coincides with fresh criticism of the Department of Work and Pension’s (DWP) disability-support scheme Access to Work, which delivers workplace and job interview support assistance.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) says thousands of disabled people’s jobs are at risk as the scheme has a backlog of 25,000 applicants with many waiting six months for assistance.

David Clarke, COO at RNIB, said many disabled people had job offers withdrawn as a result of repeated failures.

He said: “The steps taken so far by the DWP to address the problem are clearly inadequate and RNIB believes that the ongoing delays in the administration of the scheme are so significant as to risk being unlawful.”

Terry Payne, global managing director of Aspire, said perceptions of both the hiring and support landscape being excessively difficult for disabled people were concerning for both individuals and businesses.

Speaking to HR magazine, Payne said: “With issues around skill shortages, employing people that you can retain and depend on is a must.

“Studies show that disabled employees are on average just as productive as non-disabled employees but tend to have less time off sick and stay in their jobs longer.”

He added that for employers to showcase to disabled candidates that they were supportive they need to show they have a diversity and inclusion policy that is actioned against and key staff are trained in.

Joseph Williams, CEO of recruitment platform Clu, said businesses need to focus on understanding what accessible and inaccessible recruitment is in order to improve.

He told HR magazine: “Accessible recruitment is not signing up for a pledge or charter or waiting until someone has applied to figure out if you can accommodate their adjustments.

“Accessible recruitment is being transparent around barriers or limitations that exist for specific roles and Clearly stating your current accessibility standards and available adaptations on your websites.

“Businesses should also consider appointing a designated safeguarding lead if they are engaging vulnerable people.”