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APPG for Disability welcomes recent DWP announcements aimed at strengthening workplace inclusion

28 November 2018

Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Chair of the APPG for Disability, is pleased to say that two recent announcements from the Department of Work and Pensions are positive and important steps towards the widespread adoption of inclusive working practices.

The first measure is a voluntary reporting scheme, whereby organisations are encouraged to disclose the number of their staff that have a disability. This is a vitally important measure as, in combatting the disability employment gap, it is crucial to fully understand the scope and extent problem. But further, it encourages employers to reflect on the diversity within their organisation and on their recruitment and retention practices. We hope that employers embrace this measure and contribute to solving the national problem of unequal access to employment by reporting on their employment practices. 

Secondly, the DWP have launched new and lengthy guidance for line managers in recruiting, managing and developing disabled people and people with health conditions. This builds upon previous, leading practice, such as the BBC's commitment earlier this year to emphasise retention and progression of disabled staff. The guidance adequately understands the invariably critical role of line managers in facilitating an inclusive workplace and contains not only a good amount of information itself but also signposts to specialist organisations who may be useful to employers and managers in the course of their work. 

This is not to say that there isn't more to do - there are certainly more metrics that could be reported on by employers, including on relative pay of disabled staff, as for other protected characteristics, and the guidance provided to line managers could also contain more detailed information on specific conditions and related reasonable adjustments. However, both of these measures present a positive and important step in changing attitudes towards disability, particularly in the workplace, and pave the way for inclusive working environments to become the norm.