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New guide released to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities

businesswoman in wheelchair going through reports while working female coworker in the office.

A new Disability Confident guide for managers helping them recruit, retain, and foster the progression of disabled people and those with health conditions in the workplace has been published today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) have published new guidance to help managers better support disabled people.

Latest step by the Government to support disabled people to start, stay and succeed in work after hitting target of helping one million more disabled people into work five years early.

Comes as the Government’s £2.5 billion Back to Work Plan will help one million more disabled people including the long term sick break down the barriers to work.

A new Disability Confident guide for managers helping them recruit, retain, and foster the progression of disabled people and those with health conditions in the workplace has been published today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

DWP has worked in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to develop the quick and easy guidance to ensure employers and employees get the most from the Disability Confident scheme, to boost disability employment and reduce the disability employment gap.

The Government has already succeeded in meeting its target of getting one million more disabled people into employment by 2027 – reaching the milestone five years ahead of schedule.

This new guidance is part of wider action to support disabled people who can work to reap the countless social, health and financial benefits a job brings.

Some of the guidance includes advertising jobs on channels that specifically reach disabled people and implementing reasonable adjustments in the workplace like flexible working and arranging one-to-one mentoring support.

Minister for Disabled People, Health & Work, Mims Davies MP, said: We want to help everyone realise their potential and it’s fantastic to have helped over a million more disabled people into work, hitting that target five years early – but we’re not stopping there.

This new guidance is a really useful tool for managers that will support even more people to progress – whatever their condition and whatever their profession.

It’s just the latest step in our mission to ensure the UK is the most accessible place in the world for disabled people to live, work and thrive.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said: Too often, people with disabilities or long-term health conditions face prejudice or cannot access the support they need to help them reach their potential or remain in work. That is a loss of significant workforce capacity and skills.

That’s why Disability Confident and the CIPD have worked in partnership to update this guide, which aims to support managers and anyone who leads another individual or team, in the recruitment, management and development of people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

As of 31 January 2024, there were over 19,000 members of the Disability Confident scheme across the UK with an estimated 11.5 million paid employees working in their organisations.

To gain Disability Confident status, members must commit to changing behaviour and cultures in their own businesses, networks, and communities, and taking the lead on inclusive recruitment practices.

Kate Headley, Executive Director at the Clear Company, said: As a founder partner of the Disability Confident Scheme, I am delighted to have supported the development of this revised guidance which I believe can resolve the nervousness managers have about employing disabled people.

As a Government Disability & Access Ambassador and the Chair of Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative, I am aware of the support managers seek.

This guidance does not ask them to become experts; instead, it provides an opportunity for us all to confidently, successfully employ disabled people who can and who want to work.

The Disability Confident scheme is just one strand of the Government’s programme to help more disabled people and those with long term health conditions to improve their lives through work.

DWP’s £2.5 billion Back to Work Plan will provide thousands more people with the tailored support they need to move towards work and comes on top of the Buckland and Lilac reviews released this year to ensure workplaces are accessible and inclusive for everyone.

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