One in four employers admits to disability discrimination

News Article

A recent survey has revealed that one in four UK employers is being discriminatory when it comes to hiring staff with disabilities.

The research from disability charity Leonard Cheshire found that 24 per cent of UK employers admitted they would be less likely to hire someone with a disability compared to an able-bodied candidate.

The survey found that over two-thirds of managers blamed the cost of workplace adjustment as the barrier to employing a disabled member of staff an increase of six per cent on the previous year.

17 per cent of disabled candidates for roles in the past five years claimed the employer withdrew the offer as a result of their disability and 30 per cent felt that the employer had not taken them seriously as a candidate.

Neil Heslop, Chief Executive Officer at Leonard Cheshire, said: “Our research reveals a tough and unwelcoming employment landscape for disabled people despite overall employment levels climbing to record highs. Most disabled people in 2019 remain frozen out of the world of work.

“More employers need to seize the opportunity of the untapped talent of disabled people. Straightforward measures exist to support individuals to get jobs or prevent those in work from falling out of employment due to a disability or health condition. All of us must redouble our efforts to challenge outdated attitudes to disability and accelerate the positive change that enables talented individuals to gain and keep jobs.”

There is, however, also some positive news to emerge from the research with the number of employers in the UK who say they would be more likely to employ someone with a disability has almost doubled from 11 per cent in 2017 to 20 per cent in 2018.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “Even the smallest of changes can make a dramatic difference in helping a disabled person achieve their full potential at work.

Greater numbers of employers in the UK are also reporting that in the last 18 months they have hired a disabled person, with a rise from 69 per cent in 2017 to 79 per cent in 2018.

Samantha Randall an employment law expert with Palmers, said: “The findings of this research show that there is still an issue regarding discrimination of disabled people in the workplace.

“If you are concerned that you are being discriminated due to your disability it is important that you seek specialist legal advice”

For professional and independent advice on any aspect of employment law, contact our employment team today.