Minister for Disabled People Sarah Newton discusses the launch of the new Disability Confident guide in collaboration with the CIPD, providing line managers with practical advice on employing disabled people….
November has been an important month for the Disability Confident scheme and disability employment. Not only have we marked the scheme’s anniversary, but I am also proud to say we have now reached 10,000 members. This is a huge achievement and I would like to thank the CIPD members who have joined and supported the scheme.As the scheme has gathered momentum, we have been looking at additional ways to encourage and support businesses to employ disabled people and help them to realise their potential.
So today we have launched a Voluntary Reporting framework which encourages employers to report what steps they are taking to support their disabled employees and promote employee health and wellbeing. It also provides direction and support to encourage employers to report the percentage of individuals in their organisation who have a disability or a long-term physical or mental health condition.We know that this may require cultural change in some organisations, and of course we want to ensure employers have the support and advice they need. Signing up to Disability Confident can help them to take the first step on a journey to becoming more confident in attracting and retaining the talent of disabled people and those with health conditions.The knowledge and expertise of organisations like the CIPD is invaluable in helping us to develop the scheme further to provide the support employers need. That is why I am delighted that we have also today published ‘Recruiting, managing and developing people with a disability or health condition – a practical guide for line managers’, which we have produced jointly with the CIPD, and with the support of other expert organisations.
The guide is an easy-to-use reference tool for managers in their daily work, providing key information and advice. It covers a wide range of employment issues including workplace adjustments, attracting, recruiting and retaining disabled people, and encouraging positive conversations about disability in the workplace. Because we know line managers are busy people, the guide is bite-sized and includes a series of handy top tips. It may not answer every question, but it provides a starting point for managers, including links to more detailed information. The guide has been developed in partnership with the CIPD from the very start. It was first suggested at a roundtable with CIPD members, who told us that line managers play a critical role in creating an inclusive working environment. This was backed up in the CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work survey report, which found that the knowledge and confidence of line managers is the most common challenge organisations experience in managing disabled people or those with a long-term health condition. And the expertise of the CIPD and other organisations has helped to ensure the advice contained in the guide is practical and up-to-date. I hope you find the guide useful, whatever your role – whether you are a manager working in a large organisation, an owner-manager in a small firm, or a HR professional. Employers are increasingly recognising the importance of employing a diverse workforce. Disability Confident can provide free advice to help businesses become more inclusive, supporting them to attract, retain and develop people with the skills they need. If you haven’t joined yet, you can find out more here.
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