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Want to stay on the right side of the law? We support businesses and public authorities and help them to promote good practice.

Recruiting people with disabilities

What you need to know


Useful contacts


Recruiting and retaining people with disabilities

As an employer, you should follow fair recruitment and selection procedures as outlined in the Recruitment, selection and promotion section of our website.

In addition to following those general procedures, you should also be aware of other important matters that you either must do, or should consider doing, when recruiting people with disabilities.

These are: your need to comply with the reasonable adjustment duty, some additional good practice steps you should take and the opportunities for taking positive action that are open to you. These matters are discussed in further detail below:


Public authorities and positive action

Although the guidance given here applies to all employers in the public, private and third sectors, the section on taking positive action is particularly relevant to public authorities. In the case of most public sector employers, giving sincere consideration to taking positive action will also assist them to comply with their obligations under the public sector equality and disability duties, section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and section 49A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The latter are essentially duties to consider taking positive action.

Although employers in the private and third sectors are not under any statutory duty to consider taking positive action, we strongly recommend that they do so.

This is not an exhaustive list of local disability organisations that employers might develop partnerships with, but they are ones that provide pathways to supported employment programmes funded by the Department of Communities, such as Workable NI.

Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment
Gortfoyle House
104 Spencer Road
BT47 6AG
Tel: 028 7137 7709

Disability Action
Head Office
Portside Business Park
189 Airport Road West
Belfast  BT3 9ED 
Tel: 028 9029 7880

Ulster Supported Employment Ltd
Head Office
182-188 Cambrai Street
Belfast  BT13 3JH
Tel: 028 9035 6600

Supported Employment Solutions
1 Ravenhill Reach Close
Belfast  BT6 8RB
Tel: 028 9046 1834

Department for Communities
The Department offers employers a dedicated account manager to support their recruitment needs and to broker access to the wider public sector’s employability and skills provision.

For further information contact:

Disability Programmes Team: health&

Recruitment Support Team:


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