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Staff disability code of practice


The Code applies to all disabled staff and job applicants, including those who become disabled whilst in employment.


The following set of core principles will provide the framework and parameters within which the Code of Practice will operate. The College is committed to:

  • equality of opportunity for all through policy and service provision
  • ensuring fairness during recruitment, access to development and promotion opportunities for disabled people
  • recognising and valuing differences by creating a supportive working environment that demonstrates our commitment as an employer of choice
  • reflecting good practice in initiatives that support best practice
  • supporting and retaining staff
  • creating a supportive environment to encourage disclosure
  • the provision of appropriate services to meet the needs of staff and students.


Every effort will be made to remove barriers faced by disabled people at all stages of the employment cycle, including recruitment and selection, induction, probation, appraisal (PDR or Academic Review), staff development, promotion, redundancy, disciplinary and grievance procedures. This will apply to job applicants and current members of staff.


Recruitment and selection decisions should be made on the basis that the person who best meets the criteria for the job will be selected. Job descriptions and person specifications should include only those criteria that are entirely necessary for undertaking the duties and responsibilities of the job concerned. They should avoid requirements which are not essential or are marginal to a particular post, for example, insisting on a particular level of educational qualification, even though it is not necessary or significant for the job, or inserting in job descriptions physical requirements (e.g. mobility) from candidates when it is not necessary or significant for the job.

To encourage applications from disabled candidates, the College recruitment web pages and job packs highlight our commitment to Disability Confident.


Shortlisting and selection decisions should be made on the basis of who is the best person for the job, as measured by how closely they meet the requirements of the person specification.

If a candidate is disabled then the College must, subject to any limit on the number of interviews, interview all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the post. In times where you need to limit the overall number of interviews, it’s important to select the disabled and non-disabled applicants who best meet the minimum criteria for the job.

Disability Confident guidance states, 'It is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practicable or appropriate to interview all disabled people that meet the minimum [essential] criteria for the job. For example: in certain recruitment situations such as high-volume, seasonal and high peak times, the employer may wish to limit the overall numbers of interviews offered to both disabled people and non-disabled people. In these circumstances the employer could select the candidates who best meet the minimum criteria for the job rather than all of those that meet the minimum [essential] criteria, as they would do for non-disabled applicants.'


In the recruitment materials sent out, applicants are asked if they have a disability and what sort of arrangements would be necessary for an interview. The College will make every reasonable effort to accommodate a candidate’s requirements.


In general, an employer should not ask applicants about their health or disability during the application process or during an interview. However, questions can be asked about the person’s disability e.g. reasonable questions about any changes that may need to be made to the workplace prior to the interview.

The criteria used in interviews and selection tests should only relate to what will be required of the future post-holder e.g. it would be inappropriate to require someone with learning difficulties to complete a numeracy test where the job entails very little numerical work and is not part of the person specification or the job description.

Additionally, where selection tests are used, the type of test should not substantially disadvantage a disabled candidate and adjustments should be made when needed. Adjustments to selection tests could include: giving candidates a reader or scribe; allowing candidates a longer time period; accepting a lower pass rate; allowing the use of an adapted keyboard or other such adjustment.


When a member of staff becomes disabled, the College will make every effort to ensure they can stay in their current job, or an alternative one. Retaining an employee who has become disabled or whose existing condition worsens, means keeping their valuable skills and experience and will save on the cost of recruiting a replacement.

Promoting an enabling and supportive environment that encourages staff to disclose their disability will help to establish/inform on the specific needs of the disabled staff member and enable any reasonable adjustments to be put in place.

Should an employee become disabled whilst in employment or their condition worsen they should raise this issue with their manager. In such cases the ‘process for identifying and implementing reasonable adjustments’ set out in the guidance to this Code should be followed.

Managers should refer to the Sickness absence staff policy when dealing with cases of disability related sickness absence. The policy seeks to provide ‘appropriate support to facilitate staff retention and return to work after illness, for example through phased returns, counselling, occupational health, flexible working, reasonable adjustments and in some cases redeployment’.

In a redundancy situation, where staff doing the same or similar work are placed in a pool, and managers develop relevant criteria for selecting members of the pool for redundancy, reasonable adjustments to the selection criteria should be put in place to remove any disadvantage that a disabled member of staff will otherwise face. Equally, where offers of redeployment are made to disabled staff facing redundancy, reasonable adjustments may be necessary to enable a disabled individual to take up a new position.


As an employer and education provider, the College must ensure that appropriate services are in place to meet the needs of staff and students; and promote disability equality by removing barriers to access, tackling discrimination and implementing good practice. Consultation and engagement with disabled staff will be undertaken through the Equality and Diversity Committee.


Induction and support is an important part of the recruitment process for all new employees, but this may be more so for disabled people. The induction of disabled employees should cover the following:

  • Human Resources support to line managers and new employees
  • mentoring and buddy schemes for new disabled staff
  • line manager’s support and induction of new disabled staff
  • disability related guidance for managers and all staff
  • Human Resources support for managers
  • reasonable adjustment arrangements
  • access to work
  • clear signage on how to access ITS, assistive technology and health and safety.

The College is committed to the provision of equalities training for all staff.


All staff have a responsibility to ensure fair and equal treatment of disabled people at work.

Staff members have a responsibility to alert their manager to changes in their medical condition.

Staff members with specific responsibility for managing staff with disabilities have a duty of care to:

  • ensure that they are aware of the Code of Practice requirements and that these are carried out
  • ensure that all staff are made aware of the Code of Practice and accompanying guidance
  • ensure that they themselves do not discriminate against disabled people.

Managers should raise any issues and discuss support needs for disabled staff during their PDR/Academic Review.