By Genevieve Bach, CIPD Public Affairs Manager, @gen_bach
Today (Friday 18 July) marks one year since the launch of the Government’s Disability Confident campaign to raise awareness among employers of the business benefits of employing disabled people and support them in being more confident in recruiting and retaining them in work.
Since the launch of the campaign, which CIPD has been proud to support, there has been an increase of 80,000 in the number of disabled people finding work, according to the Government’s figures. Although this is something to celebrate, we can’t afford to lose focus, as there is far more that still needs to be done. Nearly 7 million people in the UK are disabled or have a health condition, with around 1.3 million disabled people unemployed and looking for work. Government, employers and disability groups need to continue to work together to increase this number further – employers need to ensure they are not excluding disabled people from their recruitment processes, and are doing enough once they are in the workplace to enable disabled workers to be as productive as possible. Government and employer bodies need to support employers with information and guidance on how to do this, which is why we welcome the announcement of a new Employers’ Portal which will provide this sort of material.
It’s also worth remembering the part that we in our society can play to raise awareness of disabilities and the benefits for all concerned of employing disabled people and making business more Disability Confident. Research suggests that businesses that operate with the needs and wants of the community in mind, are more successful than those that don’t – which is just as important to consider as arguments about fairness and inclusivity.
There are many ways that you can contribute to the campaign, from sharing your experiences of recruiting disabled people, to working with employers to make the business case, to working with disabled people to help them find employment. The Government campaign is ongoing, as is CIPD’s support – go to www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign to find out how you can get involved.
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