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  1. What is the definition of a disability?

    The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. See the link on the right hand side for more information.

  2. Why use the disability symbol?

    By using the symbol we are making it clear to disabled people that we welcome applications from them and that we are positive about their abilities. It will also show existing employees that we value their contribution and will treat them fairly if they become disabled.

  3. Where can the symbol be displayed?

    Departments are encouraged to display the symbol on all job advertisements (internal and external), application forms and recruitment literature. It can also be used on business stationary, in-house reports, notices and other relevant items.

  4. What does it mean if I see the Disability Symbol on a job advert?

    It means the University will guarantee to interview all disabled applicants, who submit a Disability Confident Declaration Form, provided they meet the essential criteria for that job.

  5. Does this override other legislation, such as immigration legislation?

    No. All other legislation still applies and this does not take precedent. For example, if you have a disabled candidate who requires a work permit to apply for a position in which a work permit would not be granted, you would not be required to shortlist the applicant.

  6. How will applicants indicate they have a disability?

    Applicants are asked to indicate whether they wish to be considered under the Disability Confident Scheme through the online application form.

  7. What should I do if a disabled candidate meets the essential criteria measurable from the application form?

    They must be invited for interview. This is regardless of whether the pool of shortlisted candidates is too large. Although you may use the desirable criteria to reduce the interview pool to a manageable level, disabled candidates who meet the essential criteria must be excluded from this exercise.

  8. What should I do if a disabled candidate does not meet the essential criteria measurable from the application form?

    If any candidate does not meet the essential criteria measurable from the application form, then they should not be shortlisted. The shorlisting matrix should clearly identify which of the essential requirements from the person specification have not been met.

  9. What do I need to consider when making interview arrangements?

    When making the interview arrangements, remember to consult the disabled candidate's application form to ensure that any adjustments or special arrangements that need to be made are done. Please contact your HR Adviser if you require further guidance.

  10. Who will pay for the cost of the extra interview expenses this could potentially involve?

     For all positions the cost will be met by the Department.

  11. What should I do if the disabled candidate is not the best person at interview?

    If the candidate is not the best person for the job, they should not be offered the job. Departments must ensure this decision is made on the basis of their performance at interview and not on the real or perceived implications of employing them.

  12. What should I do if the disabled candidate is the best person at interview?

    They should be advised that they are the successful candidate. Legally the University is required to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled staff are supported to do the job. This should be discussed with the disabled member of staff and, if appropriate, your customary HR Adviser.

  13. What is the Access to Work Scheme?

    Access to Work is a government scheme which provides funding to employers who are employing a disabled person for any adjustments that need to be made. Further information can be found via the link on the right-hand side.

    Applications must be made within six weeks of the commencement of employment. Further information is available from the relevant HR Adviser.

  14. What happens if the adjustments that are necessary are unreasonable?

    If the adjustments are unreasonable then an offer of appointment may be withdrawn. However, case law shows that employers are expected to do their very best to employ a disabled person and only if the costs are prohibitive or if the disruption to the Department is so severe that it will adversely affect the business of the Department, can an offer be withdrawn. No action should be taken without consulting with the relevant HR Adviser.

  15. What if I am already employed by the University?

     You will have the opportunity to say if you feel more can be done to support you at work. The guaranteed interview commitment also applies to internal vacancies advertised within the University, provided that you meet the minimum criteria for the job.

  16. What happens if I become disabled or there are changes to my disability whilst working for the University?

    If this should happen and there are aspects of your present employment which make it difficult for you to carry on the same work, you should discuss what reasonable adjustments can be made with your manager and relevant HR Adviser. Staff can also contact Occupational Health for confidential advice (see link on the right-hand side)

  17. Isn't this positive discrimination?

    Implementation of the Disability Confident scheme does not breach employment legislation.

    The Equality Act permits positive action. Disabled candidates who meet the essential criteria on the person specification are guaranteed an interview; they are not guaranteed a job offer. The disabled candidate must be considered on the merits of their application.

  18. Any other questions?

    If you have any other questions that are not covered in this section or you would like further information or guidance then please email hrequality@sheffield.ac.uk