It has been revealed that disability inclusion in the workplace is becoming more of a critical issue for many companies to address in recent times. With broadcasters like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, and other government ministers saying that they plan to commit a significant amount of time to this cause. By doubling the number of disabled people involved to make this industry more inclusive. They plan to do this by 2020. However, it has been reported that in general disability inclusion could be massively improved/
The Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) received 70% of discriminatory queries regarding disability, so it is apparent that a large number of employers don’t seem to be as intuitive as they can be when it comes to disability inclusion. In addition, millennials are known to want to work for companies who are shown to be inclusive and have a diverse workforce as they understand the benefits.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the employment rate for those with disabilities was 50.7% from April – June 2018 (81.1% for people without disabilities) this showcases that if employers made changes to make this group feel more inclusive, the economy as a whole would benefit from this.
Research conducted by the Independent Living Strategy Group found that charging for social care or effectively a ‘disability tax’ has increased extensively, especially in the last two years. With a number of workplaces not providing for staff with disabilities, there are fewer jobs available for the disabled, resulting in financial hardship. The Office for National Statistics found people with disabilities have an unemployment rate of 8.7% (the unemployment rate for people without disabilities is 3.4%)
The Wildgoose survey also found that ‘age’ was the second biggest area of concern regarding inclusion in the workplace at 46.42% – potentially leading to dual discrimination for the older generation of disabled people.
Michelle Hamilton at MENCAP commented on these findings, saying: ‘As a charity that works with people who have a learning disability, Watford Mencap are familiar with the findings of this survey. The UK is currently enjoying a low unemployment rate, but a disproportionate number of people with disabilities are unsuccessfully seeking work. Simple adaptations, robust induction and ongoing access to mentoring and training programmes can provide good pathways for people with disabilities to access the workplace and to become valuable team members. Businesses must welcome people with disabilities into their workforce to provide a more equal and inclusive employment landscape.’
The recommendations accepted by the BBC’s Executive Board included increasing disability in work, forcing a better understanding of our workforce through asking supplementary questions in the staff census, including disabled employees in all development and leadership programmes, ensuring recruitment processes and trainee and apprenticeship schemes provide specific support for disabled applicants, introducing a centralised ‘BBC, and mandating disability awareness training for all team managers.