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Developing Career Potential

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of any of the below characteristics, called protected characteristics:

  • age
  • being or becoming a transsexual person
  • being married or in a civil partnership
  • being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • disability
  • race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation


Officially, you are a mature student from when you are 21 years of age or older. As a mature student you can apply for graduate jobs alongside your younger fellow student however you may find different obstacles to finding a job as a mature graduate.


From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). However, the Disability Equality Duty in the DDA continues to apply.

Your disability is very individual to you and there are a wide range of disabilities, so these notes are very brief and a general introduction to the issues which may affect you when applying for jobs.

In July 2016 the government replaced the JobCentre Plus 'two ticks' scheme with their disability confident scheme, allowing employers to show in their advertisements and literature they are committed to attracting disabled applicants. If the organisation you want to target does not subscribe to the disability confident scheme you can, of course, still apply.

There are a number of organisations that are able to help you, for example check the Great with Disability website for information about disability and opportunities available for disabled students or download information guide.

When applying for jobs be positive about your disability and how you have overcome obstacles to achieve your goals so far.

If you want to discuss issues related to your job search, please contact KU Talent via the Student Hub through My Kingston.

Disclosing your disability

You might be concerned about disclosing your disability to a potential employer. Deciding to share your disability to a potential employer is a matter of personal choice, you are under no legal obligation to do so, and it's for you to choose if and when you share. There is no 'best' time to do this in the selection process, only you can decide what you want to do and what is best. One positive reason to tell people is so you can get the right support.

If you do share your disability you have a right to keep this information private. This kind of information is kept safe by the Data Protection Act. This is the law to do with keeping personal information private and confidential. It means that information about you cannot be passed to someone else without you agreeing it is OK. You can ask for information about you not to be passed on.

There are several times you could choose to share your health or disability to a potential employer. Deciding which is best for you will depend on your individual situation.

  • Covering letter
    Normally you will be asked to send a covering letter with a CV. This could be a good place to raise any extra issues you feel appropriate to your application. Use this opportunity to make your disclosure positive but avoid centring the whole letter around the disability issue. Highlight any additional strengths you have developed through handling your disability or health problem.
  • Application form
    Some application forms ask direct questions about disability and this is a chance to provide all the details. Use the supporting statement or competence based questions on the application form to demonstrate any strengths or positive consequences of your disability or health problem. An example might be developing your IT skills through early exposure to complex software as a result of a visual impairment.

Read advice about health and disability from the government at Access to Work.

Sexual orientation

While searching for a job, you may wish to look for employers who are explicitly  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friendly. Here are a few steps that may help you to do so. 

  • Many large companies have written diversity and inclusion policies that are displayed in their recruitment literature and on their websites. Check to see if these policies include specific references to sexual orientation.
  • Check to see if the company advertises jobs in LGBT publications, like the Pink Paper.
  • Find out whether the company has a support group for LGBT employees.
  • Try to talk to other employees of a company to get a feel of the organisation's climate for LGBT employees.
  • Check the Stonewall website for information about gay and lesbian rights and good practice in employment. It includes information on Diversity Champions, a programme to help organisations improve the working environment for LGBT employees. The website also includes job vacancies from a wide variety of companies which are LGBT friendly.
  • Find out whether the company offers 'domestic partner' benefits. This means that a LGBT employee could include his or her partner on, for instance, a company health insurance policy.

Discrimination information

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission – a responsibility to promote and monitor human rights, and to protect, enforce and promote equality across the nine 'protected' areas – age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion, and belief and sexual orientation
  • Citizens Advice Bureau and their online advice site Adviceguard – this organisation may be able to help with discrimination and employment issues
  • GOV.UK – information on discrimination from the UK government

The Equality Act 2010 came into effect on 1 October 2010. It replaced the following acts, consolidating them into one all-inclusive act:

  • The Equal Pay Act 1970
  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • The Race Relations Act 1976
  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • The Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003
  • The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
  • The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
  • The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007

The Act covers many aspects of discrimination and you can find the legislation on

All of the above information is a starting point only. There are many more specific sources of information and many of these are accessible through the links and sources of information above.

Contact us

KU Talent
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7445
Email us

Contact us

KU Talent
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7445
Email us

Kingston University careers - KU Talent

Find out more

Kingston University students can visit the My Kingston Staffspace document intranet site (KU login required) for more information.

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