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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 won't 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 Disability runs a scheme called Change100, which brings together the UK's top employers and talented disabled students.

Watch videos and read personal stories from Change100 role models who have benefited from the scheme.

Find out more about how Leonard Cheshire Disability supports disabled people looking for work.

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 job centre can arrange an interview with a disability employment adviser.

This person is specially trained to help disabled people find suitable jobs. Find your nearest job centre.

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 2 ticks symbol on websites and job application forms.

Government support for disabled workers

There are 2 government schemes to help you find suitable work:

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.

Work Choice

Work Choice is a scheme that helps people with disabilities who can't be helped by other work schemes. It can provide you and your employers with support.

Find out more about Work Choice.

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.

Media last reviewed: 29 November 2017
Media review due: 29 November 2020

Page last reviewed: 18 January 2018
Next review due: 18 January 2021