6.8 million working age people are disabled, or have a health condition that can make work challenging (Citizens Advice, 2015). Health conditions can range in severity, but it's important to know how you can be supported at work. This is to ensure a fair workplace for all, in which your physical health does not define you. A statistic from Citizens Advice (2015) shows that the employment gap between those who have health impairments or conditions is 31% lower than those who do not. This illustrates the importance of raising awareness for this group in the workforce.

For UK employment purposes, disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. It covers physical and mental conditions. Disability discrimination law is now part of the Equality Act 2010. This means that you should be treated fairly within your workplace and that the duties assigned to you are things you are able to carry out. If this isn't the case, talking to Human Resources, your line manager, or the Equality and Inclusivity lead is the next step to take. You can also contact us at Keeping Well and we can help you think about possible changes and ways to support you.

Read more about disability at work, an infographic by Citizen Advice.

Animation about 'disability justice is intersectional'

NHS Employers have resources for health conditions, such as cancer and asthma.

ACAS - Working for everyone logo

ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, have a section on disability at work and how to approach that conversations. This can be for employers, employees and job applicants that are looking for advice on this. Some example advice talks about the Covid-19 vaccine, how to get support for mental health at work and reasonable adjustments that can be made to make the workplace more inclusive. Due to recent events, there is also information on working from home/remote working.

Read more about disability at work, from ACAS.

CIPD logo

CIPD have information about actions, recommendations and resources for managing the conversation about disability at work. It also provides an overview for the employers in understanding the legislation at work and what employers can do to support their staff.

Access the CIPD factsheet.

Remploy - Putting ability first logo

Remploy are the UK's leading disability specialists in helping people to find and stay in work, create inclusive workplaces and work in partnership to transform lives. There are also further training opportunities and a live chat available.

The callback request form can found here.

UK Government advice on getting support at work

Talk to your employer about changes they must make in your workplace, these changes could be:

  • Practices, provisions and criterions: maybe changing the way you (the employee) does things to play to your strengths.
  • Overcome physical barriers: this can involve making changes such as providing light sensitive glasses for extended periods of screentime.
  • Providing extra equipment or assistance: disabled people may require equipment or support to carry out their jobs, such as hearing-aid loop systems for deaf and hearing-impaired employees.
  • Get extra help from Access to Work, including mental health support​​​​​​ - read more about the Access to Work grant.

For more information on managing disability at work, this blog provides a summary of UK legislation and your right to work.

Updated on: 21/04/2022