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'Disability Confident' and guaranteed interviews

Employers who have signed up to level 2 of 'Disability Confident' guarantee disabled people an interview if they meet the minimum criteria for the job vacancy. The scheme is not legally binding.

Guaranteed interviews

The 'Two Ticks' or disability symbol scheme has been replaced by 'Disability Confident'.

Like the previous scheme, level 2 Disability Confident employers commit to offer an interview to disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the job.

If employers do no advertise a formal guaranteed interview, they should make it clear in their recruitment material that a disabled applicant meeting the minimum criteria for the job (that is the description of the job as set by the employer) will be given the opportuniry to demonstrate their abilities at an interview.

Source: Disability Confident employer (level 2) pack (pdf, on gov.uk).

'Disability confident' badge'Disability Confident' more generally

The details are of this scheme are on Disability Confident: how to sign up to the employer scheme (link to gov.uk). There are 3 levels of commitment:

Level 1: Disability Confident committed - The employer signs up to five statments on accessible recruitment, reasonable adjustments and supporting existing employes who acquire a disability. It also agrees to at least one 'activity' such as offering disabled people work experience or work trials. Employers should be prepared to deliver on the commitments within the next 12 months, and sign up for a 'Disability Confident committed' badge which can be used for 12 months.

Level 2: Disability Confident employer - The employer needs to self-assess themself against a set of statements grouped into two themes: 'Getting the right people for your business', and 'Keeping and developing your people'. The employer has to agree to take all of the actions set out in each theme's core actions list (which include offering a guaranteed interview, above), and at least one action from the activity list of each theme.

Level 3: Disability Confident leader - The employer's self-assessment is subjected to an 'independent' validation. However there is no assessment by an official body. Validation may by another employer who is a Disability Confident leader for example, or by disabled employees or customers/clients.

There is a list of employers who have signed up to Disability Confident (link to gov.uk), including at what level.

Do I qualify for a guaranteed interview?

The Disablity Confident scheme uses the Equality Act definition of 'disability'. Accordingly if an employer offers guaranteed interviews under the scheme, it should be perfectly legitimate for a person who stammers to request one (if they so choose) if they take the view their stammer has a more than minor or trivial effect as regards normal day-to-day activities (for example phone calls), so as to fall within the Equality Act definition.

The same applies if the employer is still offering guaranteed interviews under the old 'two ticks' or disability symbol scheme (below), since that used the same test.

What if an employer fails to meet the commitments?

The Disability Confident scheme is not legally enforceable. You make a tribunal claim just because an employer has failed to meet the scheme commitments.

Of course there may also be a breach of legal duties, such as those under the Equality Act (and see below EqA claim if pick and choose between disabled people?).

EqA claim if pick and choose between disabled people?

An employer is not legally required to meet the commitments of the Disability Confident scheme. However, it is arguable that it would be unlawful direct discrimination contrary to the Equality Act if the employer offers disabled people a guaranteed interview for a particular post, but refuses to give an interview to a particular disabled person who meets the minimum criteria for the job.

An employer states that disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for a job are guaranteed an interview. However it refuses an interview to a person with a stammer who meets the minimum criteria (and who has a disability within the Equality Act). However, it gives a guaranteed interview to someone in a wheelchair or a blind person, or would give such a person a guaranteed interview if they applied for the job. This may be unlawful as direct discrimination.

It is not direct discrimination to treat disabled people generally more favourably than non-disabled. However, it may not be legal to treat some disabled people more favourably than other disabled people. Hence the possible claim in this situation. For more: Treating disabled people more favourably.

Two Ticks or disability symbol

The Disability Confident Scheme has replaced the Two Ticks or disability symbol scheme. Under that scheme employers made five commitments, one of which was to interview all disabled applicants who met the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on their abilities. For a fuller summary of the previous scheme, see The Two Ticks or disability symbol (link to pcs.org.uk).

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Last updated 22nd December, 2016