Bid to help more disabled people back into work – a wake-up call for employers

Posted around 8 months ago •

March 16, 2023 

About a third of people out of work due to long-term sickness or disability want to find a job – but for some it’s not as easy as you might think.

In his Spring Budget, Jeremy Hunt announced the Government’s bid to help more disabled people back into work, implementing some of the biggest changes to our welfare system in a decade.

Employers who make their business more inclusive to workers with disabilities will find it easier to attract and retain talented staff at a time where skilled candidates are in short supply.

According to the Resolution Foundation a huge increase in the number of working-age people with a disability (up to 2.3 million over the past decade), coupled with rising employment rates among disabled people, mean that the share of workers with a disability has grown by 50 per cent since 2013, to around one-in-seven workers.  

Persons with disabilities are sometimes victims of stigma or misconceptions and can also be disadvantaged by employers who feel nervous about doing or saying the ‘wrong thing’.

We, as employers, under the Equality Act 2010, have a legal duty to support all protected characteristics, including those with disabilities. The Spring Budget is particularly prudent in light of it being Neurodiversity Celebration Week, an initiative that aims to bring about worldwide neurodiversity acceptance, equality and inclusion in workplaces and schools.

A report by Deloitte last year argued that neurodiversity can add “valuable ways of thinking and problem-solving”, through data from the Office for National Statistics shows that in the year to June 2021 only 29 per cent of UK adults with autism were employed.

It's great to see that the Government is supporting and taking action to ensure we’re supporting more disabled people into work, announcing the launch of their White Paper on disability benefits reform, abolishing Work Capability Assessment in Great Britain and separate benefit entitlement from an individual’s ability to work.

The benefits of employing a disabled person are vast. The action can be one of the most rewarding and valuable decisions you can make as a business and as an employer.  

We, at Pertemps, are proud to be partnered with charity Sense in an initiative to help people with complex disabilities find new careers, through funding and recruitment advice. While, in turn, Sense will advise Pertemps on recruitment processes and materials to ensure we continue to make careers as accessible as possible to all.

Such partnerships are so important and emphasises the benefits of providing two-way support to help find employment for all disabled people, helping advise on things like interviews, CVs and skills training, while also taking guidance to ensure jobs are accessible and inclusive for all.

Diversity, equality and inclusion continues to be a top priority and we maintain a workplace where everyone can be the best version of themselves while using our unique tapestry of cultures to drive the business forward. We encourage discussion among colleagues and have a year-round programme of work to highlight inclusive practices. This is led by our Employee Resource Group (ERG).

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