The UK Police Service will have
to consider job applications from people who are HIV positive or epileptic
under new laws launched today.
The measures are part of
the newly framed Disability Discrimination Act which applies to uniformed
services except the Armed Forces.
The police, fire and prison
services will no longer be able to reject people on health grounds if they are
HIV positive, have epilepsy or who are diabetic.
The new Act has been welcomed
by support groups.
A spokesman for the Terence
Higgins Trust told the BBC: "To not allow someone with HIV to be employed
within those services is not acceptable.
"The Act is a signal for
employers to look more carefully at employment procedures. Somebody’s HIV
status is irrelevant if they can do the job."
The Home Office said a steering
committee working alongside police bodies and disability groups had produced
guidelines for police forces covering recruitment and training. Each police
force has nominated a delegate to oversee the changes.
The Department for Work and
Pensions said people with certain disabilities applying for these jobs would
still have to pass all the relevant tests.