From education to employment

Minister urges businesses to make adjustments for disabled employees

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton

The Minister for Disabled People is encouraging businesses to make reasonable workplace adjustments for their disabled employees and to make the most of the support available.

The call to action came as the Minister launched an awareness month specifically on the topic of workplace adjustments as part of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme, which gives employers the tools they need to recruit and retain disabled employees.

The event was headed up by leaders in the media industry, including major broadcasters Channel 4, BBC and ITV, who shared advice with other employers in the media sector on how to implement workplace adjustments in a way that works for both the business and the employee.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, said:

“Disabled people can bring a wealth of different perspectives and skills to an organisation, and I want to encourage more businesses to make sure they’re not missing out on this huge untapped pool of talent.

“Workplace adjustments are often very easy to implement and usually inexpensive or even free, yet the benefits of supporting disabled people to fulfil their potential at work can be long-lasting for both the employee and your business.”

Throughout March, organisations that are leading the way in disability employment will share their knowledge with their peers through a programme of activity to help create more inclusive workplaces. This will include masterclasses, webinars, case studies and blogs.

The media sector is not the only area making progress on disability employment. KPMG have achieved the status of Disability Confident Leader, encouraging other businesses in their network to get behind this agenda.

Tony Cates, Vice Chairman of KPMG, said:

“We’re a customer facing organisation, and many of our customers also have a disability. They want to work with an organisation that takes this area really seriously and supports people with a disability.”

Workplace adjustments may mean a simple change to a work process or environment that enables an employee to perform their job in a way that minimises the impact of their disability.

Mark works for KPMG and is registered blind.

Mark said:

“The non-physical adjustments can be just as important sometimes. I have to go for regular medical appointments, so it’s quite nice to know that there’s time that’s allotted for me to go and do that.”

Government also provides support for disabled people who need workplace adjustments through its Access to Work scheme. The grant can provide practical help for disabled people to do their job, such as specialist equipment, support workers and travel to work.

A programme of activity for Workplace Adjustments Month can be found here.

Organisations that would like to participate in the activities on offer as part of the Workplace Adjustments Month and future themes will need to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme.

To find out more about the Disability Confident scheme please click here.

To find out more about Access to Work please click here.

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