Large employers need to build more inclusive workforces, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton said, as she pressed them to reveal the numbers of disabled people they employ.
Pointing out that around a fifth of the working age population live with a disability or health condition, the Government has launched a new framework to encourage businesses to report how many of their staff fall into this category.
Voluntary Reporting on Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing: A Framework to Support Employers to Voluntarily Report on Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace can be found at www.gov.uk.
It has been developed in partnership with large employers and expert organisations (including leading charities) to support employers willing to record and voluntarily report information in this area.
Aimed at firms with over 250 employees, it can also be used to support smaller employers who are keen to drive greater transparency in their organisation or industry.
This new initiative comes as Transparity is confirmed as the 10,000th business to sign up to the flagship Disability Confident scheme, which marks its second anniversary this month. The scheme focuses on the role employers play in ensuring disabled people are recruited, retained and supported in their careers.
Ms Newton has also confirmed that 19 projects will receive a share of the £3.9 million Work and Health Challenge Fund to support disabled people and people with mental health conditions.
“Our voluntary reporting framework builds on our longstanding commitment to companies to help them in supporting their staff at all levels to create more inclusive workforces as we set out to achieve our ambition of one million more disabled people in work by 2027,” she said.
Comment by Peninsula Associate Director Kate Palmer
The issue of ensuring equal workplace opportunities for individuals with a physical or mental impairment continues to receive heightened levels of scrutiny from the Government, with more and more employees now fully able to work with a disability.
Although the production of these reports is voluntary, employers can encourage a stronger overall company reputation by highlighting their support of disability in the workplace.
This can lead to talented individuals who may have not considered applying to join the company being encouraged to pursue roles within it.
It should be remembered that there is a legal duty to support disabled employees in the workplace but it is clear that the Government expect employers to do more than that which is necessary.
This move is a further example of employers having to be transparent with their operations.
Last reviewed 5 December 2018