Myth 7: Employers in the UK can ask pre-employment questions about existing and past disabilities

25th September 2019

  • Not true: section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 makes it generally unlawful to ask questions about disability and health before a job offer is made. 
  • Many other jurisdictions, including, for example, the USA, Canada and Australia have made such questions unlawful unless they are connected to an essential requirement of the job (e.g. Scaffolders require a head for heights).
  • The reason for this common provision is based on research[i] showing that when disabled people declare their disability, they are twice as likely not to get to the interview stage, even if that disability would have no effect on their ability to do the job.

[i] MacRae, G. and Laverty, L. (2006) Discrimination Doesn’t Work: Disabled people’s experience of applying for jobs in Scotland, Leonard Cheshire, Scotland