Are you Disability Confident? Not sure what that means or how it impacts you as an employer, then this article is for you.
The Disability Confident Scheme, which replaced the Two Ticks Positive About Disabled People scheme in 2016, works to train employers on recruiting and retaining people with disabilities. It aims to promote behavioural and attitude changes in the workplace to ensure diversity and conscious inclusion.
Over 13,000 organisations have signed up since the scheme was launched, across a wide spread of industry sectors including manufacturing, engineering, health, IT and construction.
Employers can sign up on the Disability Confident government website (https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/).
Employers who sign up will gain access to the resources online to comply with the scheme, including guidance on:
- Becoming Disability Confident and why this is important - Employing disabled people and people with health conditions - Becoming more confident in retaining disabled people Disability Confident employers will also be able to post jobs on the government’s Find a Job website with a Disability Confident badge, further opening up their recruitment channels.
Why Diversity and Conscious Inclusion in the Workplace is so Important
As it stands, 7.6m working age people in the UK have a disability with a growing demand in the UK for Disability Confident committed employers. An estimated 19% of the population are classed as disabled, and historically there have been large gaps in the number of disabled working-age individuals who were employed vs people of a working age without a disability. A gap of 35% was recorded in 2015, with 81% of non-disabled people of working age employed vs 46% for those with a disability.
These figures make for hard reading, especially when you think of the talents being missed from the 54% unemployed. In sectors such as construction where there are already skill shortages being addressed, opening up further employment opportunities to disabled workers can only bring value. This would also allow business that may otherwise struggle to recruit and retain valuable staff members who may otherwise have been overlooked.
Ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace also fosters empowerment for staff, not only those with a disability but those who are benefiting from working with a wider range of people. It will also boost your reputation and brand, and put you one step ahead of competitors who may not have the same ethos in place.