1 in 10 businesses unable to
support an employee with a disability or health condition
NEW research has found that 1 in 10
business people do not feel confident that their organisations would be able to
support an employee with a disability or living with a long term health
Employment specialists Reed in Partnership and leading charity Disability Rights
UK surveyed over 300 people involved in recruitment, human resources or
leadership positions within business on their views of the challenges disabled
people face entering employment for their new report:- 'Disability and
Key findings in the report include:-
► 1 in 10 employees do not feel confident that their organisations would be able
to support an employee with a disability.
► 84% of employers told us that disabled people make a valuable contribution to
the workplace, however 12% worry that disabled people are more likely to take
time off work.
► 1 in 5 employers consider that the cost of modifying equipment makes it
expensive to employ disabled people, and 49% of respondents said that additional
funding for adaptations would help businesses to retain disabled people in
► 31% said that businesses are worried that disabled people will claim
discrimination if the job does not work out.
The report warns that the Government's commitment to halving the disability
employment gap; that is, the difference between the employment rates of
disabled and nondisabled people; is at risk unless action is taken. The report
makes several recommendations, including:
► Government expands its scheme to support business with the costs of
adjustments, Access to Work, and increases publiCity of the scheme.
► Introduce a 'one stop shop' to offer help and workplace solutions for
people with disabilities and their employers.
► Encourage and incentivise employers to provide training in disability
confidence to their line managers.
► Employers should create cultures in which people living with impairments or
health conditions feel more confident to be open about what they need at work.
Reacting to the report findings, Managing Director of Reed in Partnership,
Martin Fallon, said:- "I'm really proud of the work Reed in Partnership
does to help people with disabilities and health conditions get back to work.
Our Employment Advisers provide tailored support to enable disabled people to
move into sustainable jobs. We see first-hand the huge boost in confidence and
self esteem in someone who has been unemployed for a long time getting a job.
Everyone deserves to be able to participate equally. That is why it is
concerning that 1 in 10 people in business told us their organisation wouldn't
be able to support someone with a disability.
Disabled people are nearly 4 times as likely to be unemployed than non disabled
people. Increasing the number of disabled people in employment must be a
Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK, added:- "With 1 in 6
of the population living with a health condition or impairment, employers are
missing out on a huge number of talented people if they don't recruit and
retain disabled people. Disability and health issues are part of being human: we
all need to accommodate difference. Disabled people also often bring assets like
problem solving, empathy and resilience to the workplace because of the
challenges they have faced. We want to see employers work to create cultures in
which people living with impairments or health conditions feel more confident to
be open about what they need at work. We would also encourage senior colleagues
who themselves live with health conditions or impairments to be open about their
experiences and show that disability and health issues are an ordinary part of