Updated on May 22nd, 2019
Britain’s job market is looking in reasonably good shape at the moment. The unemployment rate sits at a 44-year low of 3.8%, meaning now is as good a time as any in recent memory to find a new role. That said, looking for a job is always a bit of a daunting process, especially for those with a disability.
Although the UK’s employment processes are becoming ever more inclusive, disabled jobseekers still face a host of additional challenges and personal concerns when it comes to applying for roles. If you’re a disabled jobseeker, there are a few key things to consider that should help you in your search.
1. Decide When You Want to Disclose Your Disability
The application process is designed to run as smoothly and indiscriminately for those with disabilities as for anyone else, but that doesn’t eliminate jobseekers’ concerns over how their disability might affect their chances of securing a role. Even though it’s illegal and completely unethical to make a hiring decision based against someone’s disability, it’s only natural to worry that it might have an impact.
With that in mind, it’s up to you when and how you wish you disclose your disability in the application process.
Some employment agencies may advise you to keep this information private until you’re obliged to reveal it, others would encourage you to embrace your disability throughout your application.
This will probably be the biggest dilemma when beginning your job search, and a decision only you can make.
2. Reasonable Adjustments In The Workplace
Once you’ve progressed to securing a role, it’s important for your new employer to have ‘reasonable adjustments’ in place to accommodate you in the workplace. Reasonable adjustments are intended to minimise any disadvantages experienced by disabled people.
Examples of such adjustments include provision of special chairs and keyboards, installation of a wheelchair ramp, a designated parking space and work pattern changes to fit desired schedules. The full list of reasonable adjustments is available at acas for your perusal.
Before saying yes to a role, make sure your potential employer adheres to these standards. Remember, reasonable adjustments are a minimum legal standard – ideally, like anyone else, you want to find an employer that will go above and beyond to accommodate you. Your comfort in the workplace is paramount, so don’t forget that when coming to make a final decision on a job offer.
3. Figure Out The Logistics
If you’re happy with the job offer and your new place of work, then you’re almost set to go. The final thing to figure out is the logistics in getting to and from work on a daily basis. If you suffer from a disability that limits your travel options, you’ll need to figure out a feasible daily method of transport.
Allied Fleet provide a number of accessible options for those requiring a specialist solution, with a full range of disabled access vehicles to hire. If you can drive or travel by public transport, it’s important to be comfortable with the idea of using that method on a daily basis. The commute to work plays a big part in long-term job satisfaction, so make sure you’ve figured out the right option is in place for you before you begin your new role.
4. Keep Your Head Up
The job application process is always a scary one but having a disability shouldn’t make it any more daunting. For all jobseekers, the search comes with it’s share of rejection and ups and downs. For disabled jobseekers in particular, the road can seem like a long one, and there are bound to be times when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
No matter what happens, stay in the game. Finding a role might take longer than you’d think or take more interviews than you’d like, but it’s key that you stay motivated and keep pushing for new opportunities.
Stay true to what feels right for you throughout, and you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding the perfect role. When you do, all your hard work will be worth it.