Acas last week launched a guide to help employers identify, tackle and prevent disability discrimination in the workplace.

The new publication “Disability discrimination: key points for the workplace” - launched to coincide with the International Day of Disabled People - aims to help employers and managers get to grips with what disability means, how it can happen and how to prevent and manage complaints in the workplace.

Over the past year, the Acas helpline dealt with around 12,000 calls on disability related discrimination. Over four out of ten disabled people seeking work found that misconceptions around their capability to work were the biggest barrier to getting hired.

The guide specifically recommends that in order to prevent discrimination when recruiting employers should:

  • give details about a vacancy in an alternative format and accept applications in alternative formats
  • be careful when writing an advertisement for a job vacancy, being sure to stay clear of any wording they are unsure about or that might be open to legal challenge
  • avoid advertising solely in one kind of place or media
  • be aware that a job application form could inadvertently be discriminatory; and
  • only ask candidates to complete tests if they are relevant to the job, and where they are, make sure they can be accessed by people with a disability.

The TUC also published a good practice guide for workplace representatives on the International Day of Disabled People last week in order to help them support trade union members with invisible impairments.

The new guide “You Don’t Look Disabled” provides guidance for trade union representatives on securing reasonable adjustments for those with a hidden disability including gathering evidence to challenge employers who fail to recognise when the duty to make a reasonable adjustment applies. information on the role that trade unions can play; the equality laws that support disabled workers; and case studies that show how problems can be addressed to stop or prevent discrimination

Jo Seery, of Thompsons Solicitors, commented “With just 48% of disabled people in employment as compared with around 73% of the population generally it is clear that disabled people continue to face barriers both in terms of obtaining work and retaining employment. Trade unions are clearly best placed to provide guidance and assistance for disabled workers.”

To access the Acas guide, go to:

To access the TUC guide, go to:'t%20look%20disabled.pdf