On the three year anniversary of the Disability Confident scheme (November 2nd), the Department for Work and Pensions have announced changes to “help businesses achieve their goal of workplace inclusivity.”
According to the announcement, changes being rolled out imminently include requiring Disability Confident Leader businesses to publicly report on their disability employment and changing the terms of membership to make it explicit senior members must employ disabled people.
Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:
“While we have made great gains so far, today I am calling on all businesses to take a look at their record on disability employment and think about what they can do to help create a more equal Britain.”
Work Experience Development Officer Emma Vogelmann comments:
“While it is encouraging to see new measures announced to improve the situation for disabled people in the workplace, it is not completely clear how these are going to be implemented. The requirement for members of Disability Confident to employ disabled people will need a great deal of attention to ensure disabled people are being hired for roles that fit their skills and passions rather than to meet a target.”
The findings of ‘Ready and Able’, a report on disabled employment published by MDUK in May 2019, show that disability specific hiring schemes often do not meet the skill level of disabled people. Those who contributed to the report said they had been rejected by these schemes for being over-qualified.
Through our Moving Up work experience programme, we offer disabled Londoners a rewarding and fully supportive work experience placement. This allows participants to better understand their needs in the workplace and what area of work interests them. We provide the same level of support to disabled employees – MDUK is a Disability Confident level two employer.
Muscular Dystrophy UK continues to campaign for the removal of barriers for disabled people finding and staying in work and we hope to work with the DWP on implementing these changes.
Trailblazers has now moved to pan-disability charity Whizz-Kidz (September 2020).