The law

You do not have to notify your employer about your disability. There is no requirement or rules in relation to disclosure. If you decide to disclose your disability, this choice should be completely your own. The Equality Act 2010 protects all disabled people against discrimination in the workplace. This includes the recruitment or job application process.

Visit our dedicated guide for more information on your rights as a disabled worker.

Reasons for disclosure

  1. People with disabilities are highly valued workers

Having a disability may have provided you with unique experiences that could prove highly useful in the workplace. The talents, skills and experience you can bring to the workplace should not be overlooked because of your disability.

  1. Access to Work Scheme

There is funding available if you require specialist equipment or financial support with transport costs or work-related obstacles resulting from a disability. Many employers are unaware of the Access to Work Scheme. By disclosing your disability, you will be able to raise your employer’s awareness about Access to Work.

  1. Equal opportunities policies

Many employers have made commitments to hire more disabled candidates. Sometimes this may include a guaranteed interview to disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job. It is also a legal requirement for employers to offer reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. This could include providing the application form in a different format, or waiving the need for a formal interview. By choosing to disclose your disability, this could help ensure you are not at a disadvantage during the application process.

How do I disclose my disability?

  1. CV

It is not necessary to mention your disability on your CV. It is important to use the limited space on your CV to showcase your skills, talents and experience. It is unlikely there will be sufficient space to qualify your disability and highlight the reasonable adjustments that you require.

However, it can be useful to disclose your disability on your CV if there is no accompanying application form. In this case, using your CV to disclose your disability before the interview or next stage of recruitment is a good option.

For support with writing a stand-out CV, use the Careers with Disabilities CV template.

  1. Cover letter

A cover letter is often sent to a potential employer alongside your CV. The cover letter is a great place to disclose your disability. You can also mention how your disability has helped you to develop certain skills or form a positive attitude towards life. You may also want to highlight the reasonable adjustments that you may require and how the Access to Work Scheme can help fund these.

It is important to bear in mind that the cover letter should focus on your skills relevant to the job. A discussion about your disability should only form part of the letter. For help with writing a covering letter, visit the Careers with Disabilities covering letter template.

  1. Application form

Sometimes job application forms ask directly about disability which offers an ideal and straightforward disclosure strategy for disabled jobseekers.

  1. Equal opportunities monitoring form

It is common for employers to ask applicants to fill out an equal opportunities monitoring form. This form is separate to the application form and is often anonymous.

  1. Interview

During the interview, you may want to prepare some ways to discuss your disability positively. However, don’t use up all your interview time discussing your disability. The focus of your interview should be on your skills and experience relevant to the job.

For more information and to read our top interview tips, visit our guide on how to succeed in an interview.