Is it unlawful for an employer to ask on an application form whether or not a candidate has a disability?
Under s.60 of the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful and potentially discriminatory on the ground of disability for an employer to ask a job applicant questions about their health or disability before making a job offer to that person. There are some exceptions to this, including to establish whether or not there is a duty to make reasonable adjustments in connection with the recruitment process. It is advisable for employers to phrase questions about whether or not adjustments are required without any reference to disability. This will allow disabled job applicants to request adjustments without the need to disclose the nature of their disabilities.
Questions to establish whether or not the employer needs to make adjustments to the recruitment process should be asked at the appropriate time. The employer should state on job adverts and application forms that applicants should contact the employer if they need the form in an alternative format, but it should not ask about adjustments to the interview process until it invites candidates for interview.