`Prejudice' costs disabled people jobs

Apr 8 2002
Alan Jones, The Western Mail

DISABLED people face continuing obstacles to finding a job because of misconceptions among employers, according to a report.

Research among 200 senior company directors showed that barriers increased when disabled candidates were given interviews.

A third of those polled wrongly believed that disabled workers would have worse absentee levels than other employees, and two-thirds said they were worried about the cost of altering buildings or providing specialist equipment, even though grants were available.

One in three admitted that employers would select an able-bodied candidate in preference to a disabled person, even if their disability was not a hindrance to the job.

Joanne Hindle, corporate services director of UnumProvident, the country's largest disability insurer which conducted the research said, "The findings are very disturbing. We estimate there are 750,000 disabled people in the UK who want to work."