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Equality and Diversity

Two Ticks Information

Durham University is proud to have been awarded the Two Tick Symbol by Jobcentre Plus. It shows we have adopted a proactive approach to employing disabled people and developing their abilities. The symbol identifies those employers who have agreed to meet five commitments regarding the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of disabled people. It helps make clear that we welcome applications from disabled people and are positive about their abilities. It also shows existing employees that we value their contribution and will treat them fairly should they become disabled.

What is the “Two Ticks” Symbol?

It’s a recognition given by Jobcentre Plus to employers based in Great Britain who have agreed to take action to meet five commitments regarding the employment, retention, training and career development of disabled employees.

How will I recognise the Disability Symbol?

The Disability Symbol is a circular symbol, with two ticks and the wording “Positive about disabled people” as shown at the top of this page.

Why is the University implementing this now?

The University is a diverse community and is committed to equality of opportunity and the "Two Ticks" scheme is a good way of publicising that fact. The University is required by law not to discriminate on the grounds of disability, and the "Two Ticks" scheme is an extension of the University’s legal duties. The application for the "Two Ticks" Symbol was supported by UEC and approved by Council.

The University was awarded the "Two Ticks" symbol, by the Employment Service at the beginning of 2013.

What happens if I become disabled or there are changes to my disability whilst working for my employer?

If this should happen and there are aspects of your present employment which require reasonable adjustments or that make it difficult for you to carry on in the same work, as a symbol user the University will do all they can to provide reasonable adjustments to make sure you can stay in a job.

Isn't this positive discrimination?

Implementation of the Two Ticks scheme does not breach employment legislation. The Disability Discrimination Act permits this kind of positive action. Remember, that although disabled candidates who meet the essential criteria on the person specification are guaranteed an interview, they are not guaranteed a job offer. The disabled candidate must be considered on their merits along with other candidates.

Anyone will be able to declare themselves as disabled so they can get an interview. How will we make sure that this does not happen?

Any false declaration may result in any offer of appointment being withdrawn.

What should I do if I don’t believe someone has a disability?

This is a difficult one. The legal definition of disability also covers mental ill health and certain degenerative diseases that may not have obvious symptoms, so care must be taken. If you’re in doubt, talk to your Human Resources Officer or to the Diversity Manager.

What vacancies does the Disability Symbol apply to at the University?

The "Two Ticks" symbol and associated responsibilities apply to all our University vacancies based in Great Britain (GB).

Does this apply to overseas candidates?

Yes, it applies to all applicants.

Does this override other legislation, such as immigration legislation?

No. All other legislation still applies and this does not take precedent. For example, if you have a disabled candidate who requires a work permit applying for a position for which a work permit would not be granted, you would not be required to shortlist the applicant.

What should I do if a disabled candidate meets the essential criteria measurable from the application form?

They must be invited for interview. Although you may use the desirable criteria to reduce the pool to a manageable level to interview, disabled candidates who meet the essential criteria must be excluded from this exercise.

When making the interview arrangements, remember to ensure that any adjustments or special arrangements that need to be made are put in place. If you need help with this the Recruitment Team will be able to advise you.

What should I do if a disabled candidate does not meet the essential criteria measurable from the application form?

If any candidate does not meet the essential criteria measurable from the application form, then they should not be shortlisted. However, if you do not shortlist a candidate who has disclosed a disability the reason should be recorded.

What should I do if the disabled candidate is not the best person at interview?

If they are not the best candidate for the job, they should not be offered the job. Be careful though that you’re making the decision on the basis of their performance at interview and not on the implications of employing them.

What should I do if the disabled candidate is the best person at interview?

They should be advised that they are the successful candidate then consideration should be given to what adjustments, if any, are needed to the job or to the working environment.

In law, the University is required to make any reasonable adjustments that are required to ensure that a disabled candidate is able to do the job.

Please contact Human Resources to discuss reasonable adjustments for new or existing staff.

If we are applying for funding from Access to work applications must be made within six weeks of the commencement of employment.

What is a Reasonable Adjustment?

Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) employers must make 'reasonable adjustments' to the workplace and to employment arrangements so that disabled employees are not placed at an unfair disadvantage to their colleagues.

Reasonable adjustments may include such things as:

  • adjustments to the workplace to improve access or layout; workplace adjustments can be temporary or made on a permanent basis
  • giving some of the disabled person’s duties to another person
  • transferring the disabled person to fill a vacancy
  • changing the working hours, eg flexi-time, job-share, starting later or finishing earlier
  • time off, eg for treatment, assessment, rehabilitation
  • training for disabled workers and their colleagues
  • getting new or adapting existing equipment, eg chairs, desks, computers, vehicles
  • modifying instructions or procedures, eg by providing written material in bigger text or in Braille
  • improving communication, eg providing a reader or interpreter, having visual as well as audible alarms
  • providing alternative work (this should usually be a last resort).

Examples of adjustments to working arrangements include:

  • allowing a phased return to work
  • changing individual's working hours
  • providing help with transport to and from work
  • arranging home working, providing a safe environment can be maintained
  • allowing an employee to be absent from work for rehabilitation treatment.

Examples of adjustments to premises include:

  • moving tasks to more accessible areas.

Examples of adjustments to a job include:

  • providing new or modifying existing equipment and tools
  • modifying work furniture
  • providing additional training
  • modifying instructions or reference manuals
  • modifying work patterns and management systems
  • arranging telephone or video conferences to reduce travel
  • providing a buddy or mentor
  • providing supervision
  • reallocating work within the employee's team
  • providing alternative work.

The University as an employer can also take advantage of the Access to Work Scheme (AtW) which may be especially helpful when employing new staff who are disabled. The Access to Work scheme may also provide some funding towards adjustments for existing staff but would require assessments and authorisation from the AtW staff at Job Centre Plus. Therefore there could be slight delays in providing the adjustments. Applications to the scheme must be made within 6 weeks of the employee starting work at the University.

Further information on Access to Work

With grateful acknowledgement to Loughborough University and Job Centre Plus