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One in three disabled jobseekers face discrimination

More than one in three (37%) disabled jobseekers have been discriminated against during the recruitment process, according to research commissioned by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI).

The research, conducted by diversity consultancy the Clear Company, found 82% of disabled candidates say they have had a negative experience with a recruitment consultancy. This is perceived as being due to lack of knowledge surrounding disability issues.

Minister for disabled people, Mark Harper MP, said the recruitment process can be “a barrier” for disabled people.

He said: “It is not acceptable that one in three disabled job seekers experience discrimination...We need to take action together to break down barriers and build employer and candidate confidence.”

The research also found disparity between the perceptions of candidates and recruiters in terms of ‘reasonable adjustments’ made to accommodate disabled jobseekers.

Despite ‘reasonable adjustments’ being a legal requirement, 58% of candidates report experiencing no adjustments. In comparison, 82% of recruiters claim reasonable adjustments are made to cater for disabled jobseekers.

Clear Company director of consulting Kate Headley said: “When around one in every 18 jobseekers has a disability this inevitably means that employers are missing out on a rich pool of talent. Many employers and recruiters are afraid of getting it wrong, but there are some inspiring instances of companies that are pioneering the inclusion of disabled people and we can certainly learn from their experiences.”

The RIDI is encouraging organisations to enter its annual awards, which celebrate best practice towards managing disability in the recruitment supply chain.