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Job application under Disability Confident scheme

CosmoCosmoCosmoCosmo Posts: 6Member Connected
Is there any official way to give feedback to the awarding body about the Disability Confident scheme? I recently applied for a job with a level 2 employer who pledges to give disabled people who meet the minimum requirements of the post an interview. The requirements are not clearly defined in the job description, however, I did ensure that I evidenced the requirements detailed in the Person Specification including qualifications, skills and experience and personal qualities, and I believe that I more than meet the minimum requirements. (I applied for a managerial position, before becoming disabled I was working at Head of Dept level in a similar role). However, I haven't been invited to interview, when I asked for feedback I was told that I hadn't evidenced experience in a small number of areas, which weren't included in the Person Spec (I could have supplied evidence if I'd known it was required!). Thanks for your help.

Replies

  • mwila_scopemwila_scope Posts: 49Support to Work Courageous
    Hi @CosmoCosmo,

    Welcome to the online community and many thanks for your post.

    Sorry to hear about your experience with the Disability Confident Scheme. Unfortunately, in order to become Level 1 and 2 disability confident, employers have to carry out a self assessment by reading the guidance set out by the DWP, undertake the self assessment, agree to the core actions and agree to at least one further activity, therefore it means that there  isn't any form of external assessment/ audit or a governing body monitoring the recruitment procedures undertaken by some employers on this scheme meaning that some might not be adhering to the standards set by the scheme.

    If you felt you met the relevant criteria set out in the person specification and therefore meet the minimum requirement required for an interview, as set out by the scheme, then i would enquire with the human resources department of said organization.  You can also leave feedback directly with the Department of Work and Pensions who are the awarding body, by emailing; [email protected]

    Hope that helps and let us know how you get on 
    Mwila
    Scope Employment Advisor
    Phone: 0300 222 5742
    Email: [email protected]
    www.scope.org.uk/supporttowork
  • CosmoCosmoCosmoCosmo Posts: 6Member Connected
    Thanks for the swift response @mwila_scope it's appreciated. I requested feedback from the HR dept and got a reply which was really a bit of a cop out IMHO. Pretty rubbish that employers can self assess but then aren't monitored. I'll email my feedback to DWP as you suggest.
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 747Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @CosmoCosmo

    If you wish to take matters further than the DWP, then I suggest you speak to the Disability Rights Commission (DRC), helpline number 08457 622 633.

    You may also wish to speak to ACAS.

    For the record, the DWP would be the last port of call, for someone in your situation.

    Employers need to be called out more about such matters.

    Keep us informed.

  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 1,182Member Pioneering
    Your best bet is to call them tomorrow morning to discuss everything. Keep a paper trail for the future. As a last ditch option you can also contact the DRC too. It’s worth pursuing this. I am about to take legal action against my former childcare provider for endangering my boy’s life. This is not appropriate. 
  • CosmoCosmoCosmoCosmo Posts: 6Member Connected
    Thanks @atlas46 and @April2018mom. I'm shocked that employers can self assess the first two levels and award themselves the accreditation, without any proof that they are actually fulfilling the requirements! 
  • StellaodStellaod Posts: 3Member Listener
    @CosmoCosmo
    i could’ve written your post. I’m going through the same thing again. I’ve sent two applications recently and didn’t get shortlisted. I challenged one and eventually they admitted to failing and I got an interview, of course I wasn’t going to get the job after all that. The second one I’m challenging too...I asked for feedback and was told I didn’t meet specific things that were not even on the job spec or person spec so I said how can a person with a disability meet the minimum criteria if we don’t know what you’re looking for. HR said they are looking into it m’urgently’ but I suspect that’s another job I won’t get. I’ve emailed my MP about it. The scheme is a farce if it’s not monitored!
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 3,264Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @Stellaod and a warm welcome to the community! Is there anything we can do to help?

    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • StellaodStellaod Posts: 3Member Listener
    @Chloe_Scope Hi Chloe...yes please! It has just happened again. Not shortlisted for a role that i met the minimum criteria and more!! This time they even had a 'Do you wish to be be part of the guaranteed interview scheme' tick box! Is SCOPE able to speak to the powers that be? This scheme is not being adhered to.  
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 1,182Member Pioneering
    Do you have a employability support officer or not? They can help you find something. 
  • StellaodStellaod Posts: 3Member Listener
    @April2018mom Hi, i do not. What do you mean they can help me find something?

  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 1,182Member Pioneering
    Stellaod said:
    @April2018mom Hi, i do not. What do you mean they can help me find something?

    I had one a few years back. They helped me with my application form and practiced interview techniques with me too. They assisted me with my resume. We used to read books on finding work too. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 2,465Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @Stellaod and sorry to hear about your experience. Further to what’s been suggested, it might be worth speaking to EASS - http://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/

    Please let us know how you get on and if there’s anything we can do to help.
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • CosmoCosmoCosmoCosmo Posts: 6Member Connected
    Hi @Stellaod, sorry to hear you're going through this. As you say, if you call out an employer and they acquiesce to an interview, it's hardly likely you'll then get the job.

    @Adrian_Scope and rest of the Scope team - is this something that you could consider campaigning about? It doesn't seem like a very fair, reasonable or efficient scheme and doesn't appear to serve disabled people. 

    The good news is that since I posted I have been offered a great new role with an employer who so far is incredibly understanding and accommodating - I hope something similar awaits you too. 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 1,182Member Pioneering
    Hi @Stellaod, sorry to hear you're going through this. As you say, if you call out an employer and they acquiesce to an interview, it's hardly likely you'll then get the job.

    @Adrian_Scope and rest of the Scope team - is this something that you could consider campaigning about? It doesn't seem like a very fair, reasonable or efficient scheme and doesn't appear to serve disabled people. 

    The good news is that since I posted I have been offered a great new role with an employer who so far is incredibly understanding and accommodating - I hope something similar awaits you too. 
    Congratulations!
  • CosmoCosmoCosmoCosmo Posts: 6Member Connected
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 1,182Member Pioneering
  • SabrenutSabrenut Posts: 2Member Listener
    Same thing here. I've applied for at least 5 jobs, where I definitely met the minimum criteria for the role, which is the trigger for a guaranteed interview.

    In every case the scheme wasn't followed and no interview. One employer admitted they got it wrong but it would have been an exercise in futility to go to an interview.

    I wouldn't have much confidence that the EASS would be very effective. Even if they did make a referral to the Equality Commission, one of the employers I applied to that didn't follow the scheme and discriminated on the grounds of disability was the Equality Commission itself which speaks volumes about its priorities. And the role would have been to carry out policy work, so they obviously weren't interested in someone who wanted to push disability as an issue either.

    I'm keeping copies of all the job applications though as evidence (and recommend everyone else facing the same problem does the same). It's their risk and I'm sure this will come back to bite them at some point.

    It's possible to get legal aid (assuming you qualify financially) for discrimination on the grounds of disability, but the company the Civil Legal Advice service put you through to are inept (although if you live in a different area you might get put through to someone different). Search for "Civil Legal Advice Service" for their details.


  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 2,465Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @CosmoCosmo, sorry I missed your reply here. How are you getting on in your new role? 

    Hello @Sabrenut and welcome to the community. I'm really sorry to read your experiencing similar problems with the Disability Confident Scheme. It's really quite staggering that the Equality Commission would discriminate on grounds of disability. Are you planning to take it further?
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • SabrenutSabrenut Posts: 2Member Listener
    @Adrian - Hi, thanks for the welcome.

    I'm not planning on taking it further in terms of an employment law dispute, but I may make representations to the Law Commission consultation on hate crime later this year when they open up their consultation for public responses.

    If people with disabilities are being discriminated against due to hostility and contempt, which arguably this is then my view is that this should fall under the remit of disability hate crime. And if the Equality Commission can't deal with these issues properly we need a separate regulator like there used to be with the Disability Rights Commission and for it to be given tough new powers of enforcement and proper laws to cover disability hate crime. 

    If I'm just one voice making representations to the Law Commission though I'm likely to be drowned out. I've tried offering my services as a professional to charities to try help address this issue, but there doesn't seem to  be avenues for professional type volunteering.
  • CosmoCosmoCosmoCosmo Posts: 6Member Connected
    Thanks @Adrian_Scope, all good. I'm sorry to hear that others are having the same issues with the scheme though - and I suspect we're not the only ones. Again, would this be something that Scope would consider campaigning about? As @Sabrenut says, just one voice gets drowned out, but as an organisation representing people with disabilities, Scope is likely to be much more effective.
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