Okay, this one has been coming for a while because subtly discriminative job adverts are an issue of mine and sometimes less subtly.
Because finding a job with a disability is hard enough and in the UK the Equality Act 2010 is meant to prevent disability discrimination in the workplace – from the application stage.
I’m not going to get into a debate about whether it does this well enough or not but I am going to discuss some of the parts of job adverts I’ve seen that are somewhat discriminatory.
- We are looking for a high energy individual – My condition causes fatigue but it doesn’t mean I can’t do the job well.
- Must be able to drive – If the job doesn’t require significant travel and is in a place accessible by public transport why do I need to be able to drive? There are many reasons why someone with a disability wouldn’t be able drive and this exempts you from the job even if driving isn’t necessary to perform the job well.
- Must be able to lift X amount – If it’s an office role requiring mainly desk based work it would usually be a reasonable adjustment to delegate the lifting part of the role to another member of the team
- Must be physically fit – unless it’s a role that actually requires this I think this one is self-explanatory
- Good health record
- Physically and mentally healthy
- Flexible – flexible in what sense? How flexible? This may also be discriminatory to women who often have more childcare needs than men. Yes we may be flexible but only within certain parameters.
We need to work with employers to ensure these phrases don’t crop up in job advertisements, recruiters and disabled candidates are aware of the range of adjustments that may be considered reasonable and that recruiter are open to recruiting disabled candidates and understand that we can be valuable members of the workforce.
I hope that when the next generation start applying for jobs they won’t face these barriers.