Almost half of young job applicants with a disfigurement say they were rejected because of how they looked, The Telegraph can reveal, as a leading charity demands tougher equality laws.
Changing Faces, which supports people who have a mark, scar or condition which alters their appearance, has found that more than a third of people (36 per cent) with a visible difference say they have been discriminated against in job applications, rising to 45 per cent among 18 to 34 year olds.
Meanwhile 34 per cent believe their employers have not been effective in preventing discrimination against them in the workplace.
The Equality Act 2010 aims to combat inequality across various sectors including in employment and the recruitment process, and considers ‘severe disfigurement’ within its disability protections.
But Changing Faces says it does not take into account the “significant discrimination” affecting people with all kinds of disfigurements.
The charity’s report also shows that:
- 25 per cent have been stared at during work
- 19 per cent have received negative comments
- 10 per cent have been ignored by colleagues
- 12 per cent have had difficulty making friends
- 1 in 12 have been given tasks below their pay grade
- 1 in 15 have been passed over for promotion/wage increases
Becky Hewitt, CEO of Changing Faces, told The Telegraph: “People with a visible difference deserve to live the life they want, but are still facing multiple challenges. They are vulnerable to isolation, loneliness, social anxiety and low self-esteem. They face staring, harassment, bullying and hate crime.