HR | Employment Law | Health & Safety

01244 893776

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

Guaranteed Interview Scheme: What Is It And Who Should Be Part Of It?

» Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email
Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Guaranteed Interview scheme was a government scheme that businesses could sign up to, in order to demonstrate their commitment to offering interviews to people with disabilities, providing they met the minimum criteria for a vacancy. However, this was replaced by the Disability Confident scheme in 2013, which sets out a similar commitment.

In this article, we’ll discuss the Disability Confident scheme in more detail, exploring the benefits that this scheme offers to both job applicants and employers. We’ll also take a look at the different levels of the scheme available, and how businesses can qualify for each of these.

Guaranteed Interview Under The Disability Confident Scheme

The Disability Confident scheme was introduced in 2016 to replace the Guaranteed Interview scheme. This scheme aims to increase the opportunities available to disabled job applicants, and to change attitudes towards disabled candidates.  

When an employer signs up to the Disability Confident scheme, they make a commitment to offer a guaranteed interview to any applicant that declares that they have a disability, providing they meet the minimum standards for the job role. These standards should be defined in the job description and will often be listed as essential or desirable skills.

Looking for more information about supporting employees with disabilities?

Fill out our contact form or call us on 0808 281 9856

Do You Have To Interview Someone With A Disability?

There is no legal obligation to automatically offer an interview to an applicant with a disability. However, if you fail to interview an applicant as a result of their disability, you could be faced with a claim for disability discrimination. That’s why it’s so important to base your shortlisting criteria on skills and experience, rather than personal characteristics.

Employers who are signed up to the Disability Confident scheme take a pledge to offer a guaranteed interview to any disabled applicant who meets the minimum criteria for the job role. However, this is not legally enforceable, providing discrimination has not taken place.

Benefits Of The Disability Confident Scheme For Employers

Signing up to the Disability Confident scheme is optional, but there are many benefits of joining the scheme for an employer. For example, it demonstrates that you are committed to providing equal opportunities for all. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that businesses enjoy by signing up to the Disability Confident scheme.

Widen Your Talent Pool

People with disabilities often say that they feel overlooked for job opportunities when they declare their disability during the recruitment process. By guaranteeing an interview for all people with disabilities that meet the minimum job standards, you will find that you widen your talent pool and you might just find your ideal candidate for the role.

Increase Employee Morale

When employees feel that they are being treated fairly and equally, they are often more motivated to perform at their best. This means that your employees will be more committed to the role, and more likely to give their job their all.

Demonstrate Your Commitment To Equal Opportunities

Signing up to the Disability Confident scheme is a great way to demonstrate to your employees, customers and potential job applicants that you take equal opportunities seriously. Plus, by changing the behaviour and culture within your own organisation, you are helping to create a more equal and fairer world.

Unsure if the Disability Confident scheme is right for your organisation? Talk it through with an experienced HR advisor.

Fill out our contact form or call us on 0808 281 9856

Benefits Of The Disability Confident Scheme For Applicants

Of course, there are also many benefits of the Disability Confident scheme for job applicants. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits.

Enhanced Career Opportunities

If a person with disabilities thinks that they may be disadvantaged when applying for jobs, they may be less likely to apply for new job roles. This could mean that they feel stuck in a role with little progression, or that they don’t enjoy. When a business is signed up to the Disability Confident scheme, the applicant may be encouraged to apply, knowing that the business will actively support their application by guaranteeing an interview.

Increased Morale

Knowing that your employer actively supports you and is taking steps to encourage an equal and diverse workplace is sure to give any employee a morale boost. This can help employees to feel more positive about their job role and give them the motivation that they need to succeed at work.

Disability Confident Scheme Levels

Disability Confident Scheme Levels

There are three different levels of the Disability Confident scheme. All businesses join the scheme at level one and can choose to progress through the various levels. Whilst the scheme is completely voluntary, all organisations are encouraged to sign up to it.

Let’s take a look at the three levels of the Disability Confident scheme.

Level 1 – Disability Confident Committed

Every organisation that decides to join the Disability Confident scheme will start at level 1. As a Disability Confident Committed employer, the organisation must agree to five key commitments:

  • To facilitate accessible and inclusive recruitment
  • To communicate available vacancies
  • To offer an interview to candidates with disabilities, providing they meet the minimum requirements of the job role
  • To provide reasonable adjustments to enable people with disabilities to apply for vacancies, complete assessments and attend interviews
  • To support existing employees who have disabilities

To meet the criteria for level one, the organisation must also commit to at least one ‘activity’. This could include offering people with disabilities the opportunity to gain work experience or to complete a work trial.

Level 2 – Disability Confident Employer

When an organisation feels that they are secure in the level one criteria, they may consider moving up to level two. To do this, the business will need to carry out a self-assessment. This will test the organisation in a number of different areas, to find out just how inclusive and accessible the company really is when it comes to disabilities.

This Disability Confident level two self-assessment is divided into two key themes:

  • Theme one – Getting the right people for your business
  • Theme two – Keeping and developing your people

Some of the assessment questions are a legal obligation, such as making reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee. However, some are good practice, rather than being a legal requirement. Once you meet all of these requirements, you will achieve level 2 status as a Disability Confident Employer.

Level 3 – Disability Confident Leader

Once you have completed the level 2 Disability Confident self-assessment and are confident in your company’s ability to support those with disabilities in your workplace, you can begin to progress to a level 3 Disability Confident Leader. There are three steps to this process: Challenge, Leadership and Reporting.

Challenge

You’ll first need to have your level 2 self-assessment externally verified, to ensure that you are meeting your obligations as a Disability Confident employer. The validator will need to agree with your assessment that you are delivering all measures required.

Leadership

You’ll then need to provide a narrative to explain the activities that you are completing to make your business a Disability Confident Leader. This could include using your social media channels to share good practice, engaging with other local employers to promote the Disability Confident scheme and hosting or sponsoring Disability Confident events.

Reporting

Finally, you’ll need to report on disability, mental health and wellbeing within your organisation. Most organisations choose to do this through their annual report.

Looking for more information about supporting employees with disabilities?

Fill out our contact form or call us on 0808 281 9856

Who Qualifies For A Guaranteed Interview Under Disability Confident?

The Disability Confident scheme offers guaranteed interviews to applicants who qualify as having a disability according to the Equality Act 2010. This defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that has a long term and substantial impact on a person’s ability to do everyday activities.

Applicants who are classified as disabled by the Equality Act should be offered guaranteed interviews under the Disability Confident scheme, providing they meet the minimum requirements for the role, as set out in the job specification. This applies to all businesses that have registered as a Disability Confident employer.

What Is The Two Ticks Scheme

What Is The Two Ticks Scheme?

The Two Ticks scheme was a system of recognition created by Job Centre Plus to recognise employers that agreed to take on five key commitments relating to the employment and training of disabled employees. The commitments are:

  • To interview any disabled applicant that meets the minimum required standards for a job vacancy.
  • To discuss with disabled employees regularly what can be done to enable them to develop and make the most of their abilities.
  • To assist disabled employees to remain in employment by making reasonable adjustments wherever possible.
  • To raise awareness of disability in the organisation.
  • To review the commitments regularly and plan ways to improve upon them.

Organisations that became part of this scheme and met the five commitments were able to display the two ticks disability symbol on their website and marketing materials.

The Two Ticks scheme was replaced by the Disability Confident scheme in 2013, along with the Guaranteed Interview Scheme.

Need more information about the Disability Confident scheme?

Fill out our contact form or call us on 0808 281 9856

Is Disability Confident Legally Enforceable?

There is no legal requirement for businesses to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme or to offer a guaranteed interview to a person with a disability. However, you might be wondering whether companies are legally obliged to fulfil their promise of a guaranteed interview once they have signed up to the scheme.

Businesses are not legally obliged to offer an interview when they are signed up to the Disability Confident scheme. Failure to do so may mean that they have failed to meet the commitments of the scheme, but this is not an immediate legal breach.

However, this does not mean that the business is automatically acting legally. Alongside failing to meet the commitments of the Disability Confident scheme, they may have also breached legal duties, for example those required by the Equality Act 2010. An applicant who is not offered a guaranteed interview through the Disability Confident scheme may choose to take their case to an employment tribunal on the basis of discrimination.

Related Questions

Who Runs Disability Confident?

Disability Confident is a government scheme that encourages employers to support disabled people to gain employment and succeed at work. Although Disability Confident is run by the government, it is not a legal obligation for organisations to sign up to the scheme. However, it is strongly encouraged, as a result of the benefits provided by the scheme to both employers and employees.

Can You Ask About Disability At Interview?

When you are interviewing a candidate with a disability, it is important that you do not ask any questions about their disability that are not directly related to the job. You can ask relevant questions to find out whether they are able to perform a task that is essential to the job role, but you should avoid asking any questions that don’t relate to an intrinsic aspect of the job role.

Is ADHD A Disability Under The Equality Act?

The Equality Act 2010 does not name specific disabilities that qualify under the act. However, it does state that a disability is something that has a long term and substantial impact on the person’s ability to carry out everyday activities. So, if a person has ADHD which severely affects their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, it could be classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

In Summary

Job candidates living with disabilities often find it more difficult to secure and retain employment. That’s why the government created a scheme to offer disabled job candidates a guaranteed interview with certain employers.

Both the Two Ticks scheme and the Guaranteed Interview scheme were replaced by the Disability Confident scheme in 2013. This government scheme offers a guaranteed interview to any candidate that is classed as having a disability under the Equality Act 2010, providing they meet the minimum requirements of the job role, as set out in the job specification.

If you’d like more information on the Disability Confident scheme, or if you’re looking for assistance managing your recruitment process, Neathouse Partners is here to help. Give us a call today to find out how we could support your organisation.

Want to find out if the Disability Confident scheme is right for your business?

Fill out our contact form or call us on 0808 281 9856

About The Author.

James Rowland

James Rowland

James is the Commercial Director at Neathouse Partners. He is responsible for all Account Management, Sales & Marketing within the company. Having gained a BSc in Psychology and further study for his post-grad Law degree, James embarked on his legal career in 2014. Since then, he has become an Associate Director at a national Employment Law boutique, studied for a Masters in Marketing, and as of 2018, been a Director at Neathouse Partners. Outside of the office, James is a keen cricketer, playing very badly (he calls himself a Batsman but averages single figures) in the Cheshire League for Nantwich CC. He also loves watching his childhood football team, Crewe Alexandra, and is an avid lover of cinema (his favourite film being Pulp Fiction). Feel free to connect with James on LinkedIn.
Mental Health In The Workplace
Absence

Mental Health In The Workplace

With 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health problems each year, that’s a quarter of your employees that could be struggling with their mental health,

Share:

More Posts

Mental Health In The Workplace

Mental Health In The Workplace

With 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health problems each year, that’s a quarter of your employees that could be struggling with their mental health,