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Deciding how and when to declare a disability

There is no obligation for you to disclose a disability - it is your own decision. However, there are some things you might want to consider in making that decision.

Should you tell a potential employer about your disability?

Although you may be uncertain about how an employer may react, there are good reasons for telling a potential employer about a disability. Employment is covered by the Equality Act 2010. This means it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against disabled people in their recruitment and selection procedures.

If they know you are disabled employers must also consider making any 'reasonable adjustments' you might need in order to enable you to work for them. If you don't declare a disability, an employment tribunal might decide that your employer was justified in failing to make adjustments for you. However, you do run the risk of an employer ediscriminating against you if you declare your deisability, and it's not always easy or desirable to take action against them.

Deciding how and when to declare a disability

Under the Equality Act 2010 it is mostly illegal for an employer to ask health-related questions before making the job offer unless it is to identify any reasonable adjustments which might need to be made for the selection process.

You may choose to explain how your disability would affect you in a work environment and what, if any, reasonable adjustments would be required. Focus on your abilities and why you think you're the right person for the job. You may feel your disability is irrelevant to the role, and choose not to mention it.

If you feel that being disabled, or your life experience due to your disability, increases your ability to do the job, mention this on the part of the application form that asks why you're suitable for the job.

If you're shortlisted for an interview and need practical support, such as a sign language interpreter or help getting to the interview, you should contact the employer to arrange this.

Your decision to disclose your disability may be influenced by your judgement about the attitude of a particular employer. Many employers have equal opportunities policies. These organisations may have a certain commitment to recruiting and employing without prejudice. You may feel more comfortable disclosing a disability if the organisation has an equal opportunities policy, but remember - the production of a policy will not guarantee fairness.

You should also look out for the Jobcentre Plus 'two ticks' disability symbol on job adverts. This symbol means that the employer has made a commitment to employing disabled people and that you're guaranteed a job interview if you meet the minimum criteria for the job.

There are many pros and cons for when, if at all, to declare a disability, and there are no right or wrong answers that will fit every situation. It's a judgement call, and only you can decide the best option for you.

At Lloyds Banking Group inclusion and diversity is central to building the best teams. Attracting a diverse range of talent is crucial to this and Evenbreak ensures that our vacancies are seen by disabled candidates with the skills we need

Louis Jameson, Group Disability Programme Lloyds Banking Group