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Responding to job offers

Disclosing a disability

Once you have accepted a job offer you are going to want to succeed, disclosing a disability can seem scary but it will ensure that you have the right support and reasonable adjustments to be successful in the role. Your employer is legally obliged to make these adjustments and keep the nature of your disability confidential and only disclose it, with your consent, to people involved in ensuring the adjustments are made.

You should tell your employer at the earliest possible opportunity, waiting until something goes wrong may have already put you in a stressful situation. You do not have to disclose your disability at all but this can prevent the employer from making the adjustments you need to carry out your job successfully. If you do choose to disclose your disability you should only disclose the aspects that might affect your capacity to do the job. An exception to this is if the employer asks you to complete a medical questionnaire where you most disclose everything accurately and truthfully. The employer is legally obliged to keep this information confidential.

How you disclose your disability can seem tricky but there are a few simple steps that you can take. Firstly your employer will probably have a policy such as an equality policy and this should give guidance on the procedures for disclosing a disability. If there is no obvious procedure you should try and find out who provides Occupational Health services for the company and discuss your disability with them. They can make recommendations to the employer on the adjustments you need to carry out your job effectively. Other organisations such as Access to Work and Disability Rights UK can offer advice and support sometimes working with your employer to support you. It is vital that you contact Access to Work as soon as you start work, if you wait more than 6 weeks your employer will have to share half the costs.

Your employer is legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that you are healthy and able to carry out your job effectively. The term reasonable depends on your employer and the situation; financial implications are taken into account as is the nature of the work and the environment that you work in. Ultimately the employer must demonstrate that they have done everything possible to enable you to do your job effectively. There are many adjustments that could be reasonable but this depends on the nature of the job common adjustments include specific equipment or computer software, flexible working hours, working from home and adjustments to your environment.

Obviously the type of adjustment depends on your individual situation or disability and more information and support can be found on the on these websites.