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Work and disability

Almost half of working-age people with disabilities in the UK are employed. But this figure should be higher. With the right support, many more could join their ranks.

If you have a disability, you may be worried it'll limit your job prospects or you will not be able to find work.

But there's lots of guidance, support and training to help you into employment.

Government-backed schemes can help, while awareness-raising initiatives are challenging the stereotypes about people with disabilities to make sure everyone has a fair chance of working.

The charity, Leonard Cheshire, runs a scheme called Change100, which brings together the UK's top employers and talented disabled students.

Know your rights

Whatever your physical or learning disability, you have a right to equality, fairness, respect and understanding at your workplace.

Employees and jobseekers with disabilities are legally protected against discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

You're legally entitled to fair treatment when it comes to recruitment, promotion and pay.

It also means employers must make their workplaces accessible to you.

Help with looking for work

It's now recognised that working has health benefits. The government has pledged to help employers and doctors work together to get people with disabilities into work.

Find out what help is available when you're looking for work if you're disabled

Your local Jobcentre Plus can arrange an interview with a work coach. This person is specially trained to help disabled people find suitable jobs.

Find your nearest Jobcentre Plus

There are also Disability Confident schemes to help disabled people into work.

Employers who use the scheme take a positive approach to disability and offer interviews to all disabled applicants who meet the minimum job criteria.

Look out for the Disability Confident logo on websites and job application forms.

Government support for disabled workers

There are government schemes to help you find and move into suitable work.

Work and Health Programme

The Work and Health Programme can help you find and keep a job while providing personal support for any needs you may have.

Find out more about the Work and Health Programme or speak to a Jobcentre Plus work coach for more information.

Access to Work

Access to Work is a scheme that provides money towards the cost of special equipment at work or your travel expenses.

Find out more about Access to Work

How employers can help disabled workers

Employers can also find information about recruiting disabled people and helping disabled employees stay in work.

If you're disabled or become disabled while in work, your employer should help you to stay in your job.

Changes that your employer should consider, in consultation with you, include:

  • transferring you to another post
  • making changes to your place of work
  • providing a reader or interpreter

There may be support for your employer to make these changes through Access to Work.

Video: Motor neurone disease – Julie's story

This video explores the effect that motor neurone disease had on Julie's life.

Media last reviewed: 16 November 2020
Media review due: 16 November 2023

Page last reviewed: 26 February 2021
Next review due: 26 February 2024