Support for Employers
16% of working age adults are disabled (gov.uk) and 53.2% of disabled working age adults are employed (ons.gov.uk), this figure has been increasing slowly over the past 10 years and more employers are actively demonstrating equality and striving for a more diverse work force. Although this is good news, it still has its challenges, according to the government website, “disabled people are significantly more likely to experience unfair treatment at work than non-disabled people”. In light of this, we would like to offer some useful information to employers that might answer some questions about employing someone who has a long-term health condition or impairment.
Let’s Highlight some of the benefits of hiring someone who has a disability.
- Any of your workforce could acquire a disability at any point it’s good to be prepared and have existing knowledge of how to support people to continue to do their job.
- Employing a person who has a disability shows your customers and the public that people with disabilities are represented in your workforce, and that your organisation is working in line with government guidelines and legislation.
- Your team will acquire more skills and be more informed about certain conditions, it may change some peoples attitudes towards disability and lead to a more inclusive and supportive team.
- It is good practice to have support strategies in place for all employees to ensure a safe and happy workforce.
- Disabled people are human too! A disabled employee will have skills and attributes that are likely to be a big asset to your organisation. If you pass up a candidate at recruitment because of a disability you could be missing out on a fantastic employee.
So, what can you do as an employer to support disabled employees and have a more inclusive place of work?
Remember, It’s not the condition or impairment that disable people, it’s the attitudes and the physical environment that impacts on the ability of a person. Reasonable adjustments are there to level out the playing field and remove these disabling factors that may exist between the person and the job or task.
What are reasonable adjustments?
These are practical measures that are put in place to make certain tasks accessible to a person, such as adaptations to the physical environment or daily schedule.
Will it cost me money?
Many adjustments are low cost or free, such as offering flexi time, remote working, or a particular type of office equipment. There is a scheme ran by the government called Access to Work, employees can apply and could get help with larger expenses such as taxis to and from work or office furniture requirements. They will assess the persons needs and could provide financial support where applicable. For more information see Access to Work.
How do I broaden the talent pool and include disabled people in the recruitment process?
We are always on the look out to connect with employers who have either, permanent jobs or work placements that may be suitable for our candidates, please get in touch so we can check your list of vacancies when we are job matching with our candidates.
For more information about our process please see our supported employment section.
Visit the government website for the disability confident scheme to get loads of helpful information and become a disability confident employer.