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  • International Workplace
  • 5 November 2019
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Disability Confident scheme leads to inclusive workforce

On the third anniversary of the Disability Confident scheme, changes have been announced to help businesses achieve their goal of workplace inclusivity.

The scheme was created to provide employers with the skills and confidence they need to attract, recruit, retain and develop disabled people in the workplace.

The Secretary of State has now confirmed a series of changes to the scheme to help businesses achieve their goal of workplace inclusivity, including a new requirement for leading Disability Confident employers to practice what they preach and ensure disabled people are on their payroll – and report how many are.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Thérèse Coffey, said:

“I want to ensure we live in a fair society in which disabled people are empowered to get on in their chosen career. These figures show the huge progress being made under this government to help them realise their aspirations.

“While we have made great gains so far, today I am calling on all businesses to take a look at their record on disability employment and think about what they can do to help create a more equal Britain.”

Thousands of businesses – including major employers such as Sainsbury’s and GlaxoSmithKline – have already signed up to the scheme.

Changes being rolled out imminently include requiring Disability Confident Leader businesses to publicly report on their disability employment using a Voluntary Reporting Framework and extending membership for new sign-ups to three years, and changing the terms of membership to make it explicit that senior members must employ disabled people.

Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, said:

“Disability Confident and the success of the New Enterprise Allowance scheme reflect our bold commitment to get one million more disabled people into work by 2027. Smart employers recognise that disabled people can bring a wealth of skills and talents to an organisation – and they’re making sure they’re not missing out.”

 

Employers have a duty of care to ensure that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents. Disability is one of the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. To date, 15,000 businesses have joined Disability Confident. Employers that want to find out more can visit https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/.