The CIPD engages with Penny Mordaunt MP on the disability confident campaign

Employers must take action to ensure talented people, who happen to have a disability, are able to achieve their potential in work

Nearly 7 million people of working age in the UK are disabled or have a health condition. However in the UK we have a significant disability employment gap. The Department for Work and Pensions’ statistics speak for themselves about why action is needed: ‘Over 7 million people of working age (17.5%) in the UK are disabled or have a health condition. However, currently, 49.6% of disabled people have a job compared to 80.4% of non-disabled people.’ The Government is committed to addressing this and has the ambition to get a million more disabled people into work over the next ten years.

The Disability Confident employer scheme is a key enabler in achieving this goal. It is a Government-led initiative designed to make workplaces more open, accessible, diverse and inclusive. It’s designed to help you recruit and retain disabled people and people with health conditions for their skills and talent. The Disability Confident symbol replaced the ‘Two Ticks’ (positive about disabled people) symbol in 2016.

Peter Cheese speaking at diversity event July 2017

The CIPD strongly believes in the need for employer action to ensure talented people, who happen to have a disability, are able to achieve their potential in work. Penny Mordaunt MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work attended a roundtable event run by the CIPD last week with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Peter Cheese, CIPD Chief Executive, chaired the event at which senior HR leaders were invited to debate how they can encourage more employers to be disability confident. This roundtable was an opportunity for the Minister to hear employer views and ideas related to the Disability Confident employer scheme, including how to make the labour market more accessible to disabled people, what employers can do and how the Government can best support employers.

The CIPD will be continuing to work with the DWP to help encourage other organisations to look carefully at their workplaces and practices, removing barriers to disabled people applying for jobs or progressing in their company. A large proportion of UK employers are missing out because they’re excluding disabled talent. And with 83% of people acquiring their disability while in work, we need to get much better at knowing how to support people to stay in employment.

The CIPD is proud to be a Disability Confident Leader. The Institute took part in the scheme as it strongly believes that inclusive workplaces benefit individuals, businesses and wider society. Through this accreditation, the CIPD can continue to attract talented people. Watch this short video to find out what the CIPD has been doing to become Disability Confident and to hear directly from CIPD staff.
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Jill Miller, Policy Adviser, Diversity and Inclusion
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