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Many employers in the dark about experiences of disabled employees

Many employers in the dark about experiences of disabled employees 

  • Employers urged to take action to build workforces which reflect society and their consumers
  • Work and Pensions Secretary welcomes Scope’s new guide to encourage businesses to take practical steps to understand the needs of their disabled workforce
  • Fewer than 20% of businesses collect disability data
  • Calls for businesses to get ahead of the curve by capturing information about disability at work and laying groundwork for greater transparency and inclusion. Disability equality charity Scope is urging businesses to take decisive action to create inclusive workplaces for disabled people.

New research carried out by YouGov – on behalf of Scope - reveals fewer than one in 5 of the employers surveyed currently gather data about disability [1], leaving the vast majority of businesses unaware of the experiences, representation and progression of disabled employees.

Today, Scope is releasing a step-by-step guide – welcomed by the Department for Work and Pensions – as part of a suite of resources to support employers. It will help them begin their journey to monitor progress on disability inclusivity and build confidence and trust with existing and prospective disabled employees.

Wherever a business is on their journey, Scope has a range of resources to support them to become more inclusive through their free ‘WorkWithMe’ business to business network.

The charity is urging businesses to get ahead of the curve and make sure disability is firmly on their plans following the introduction of the Government’s new voluntary reporting framework on disability, mental health and wellbeing [2], last November.

By gathering and reporting on the experiences and representation of disabled people in the workplace, businesses can be much better at building diverse workforces which reflect the society they operate in – where one in 5 people are disabled - and reap the benefits of a wider pool of talent.

Momentum is building.

Scope and Virgin Media launched the #WorkWithMe business to business network 2 weeks ago. The free ground-breaking initiative, which is bringing businesses together to help co-create and share good business practices, already has 38 companies signed up [3].

Mark Hodgkinson, Chief Executive at disability equality charity Scope, said:

“Inclusive workplaces create opportunities for everyone to thrive.

“What gets measured, gets done. Yet our research shows the so many businesses are unaware of the experiences of their disabled employees.

“We know many businesses want to become more inclusive, but don’t know how to get started. We’re here to support and we’re confident that together with Virgin Media, our ‘WorkWithMe’ network of businesses working together to share opportunities and challenges will change this.

“By beginning to understand and act on data, employers will be in a much stronger position to tackle the barriers experienced by disabled employees together.”

Scope worked with a large range of employers to produce the guide, gathering insight across the public, private and third sectors. The guide includes tips on:

  • How to get going
  • What to report on
  • How to encourage disabled people to share information about their impairment
  • Best practice for gathering and analysing data about disability and wellbeing in the workplace
  • What approach to take to publishing information 

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd said:

“If you’re not recruiting disabled talent then your competitors probably are. There are 950,000 more disabled people in work compared to 5 years ago, but the disability employment gap is still too wide.

“To tackle workplace barriers businesses need to understand what works well for disabled employees – and what doesn’t – so that they can take action to build a more inclusive workforce.

“I welcome Scope’s practical guidance which will support employers to report on disability in line with our framework. By improving transparency we can ensure Britain’s workplaces work for us all.”


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